New petition in Guyra to gain support for Malpas Dam pipeline

Malpas Dam.
Malpas Dam.

Guyra is on the verge of securing its future water supply.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is launching a new petition this week to push the project forward.

Mr Marshall met with Deputy Premier John Barilaro last week to present Armidale Regional Council’s business plan for a water pipeline between Malpas Dam and Guyra.

“The main thing I need now … to secure the $9 million that would be required to construct that pipeline is a strong sign of community support,” he said.

“I really urge members of the Guyra community to sign [the petition] to show the government they are right behind this project.”

The current plan shows that over the past 10 years, annual demand has been around 423 mega litres – with 39 per cent of the yield going to the tomato farm.

However, safe yield of the Guyra Dams has been estimated to be only 277 mega litres per year.

“This is to address significant water shortage and water quality issues that the community has been experiencing for the last few years,” Mr Marshall said.

“At the same time it’s been experiencing huge growth in terms of the tomato farm and residential growth.”

Mr Marshall said when the water supply drops low, so does the quality.

Local business owner Dave Mills said such a resource was important to secure both the future of the local community and the future of industry in Guyra.

“We’ve all tasted the dirty water in the past,” Mr Mills told Fairfax Media after Monday’s announcement.

“Such a precious resource is so important for the future of our town and also the future of local industry.

“Industry will provide job opportunities of all levels to drive our town and future productivity.”

Industry will provide job opportunities of all levels to drive our town and future productivity.

Dave Mills

Industry like the tomato farm.

The farm’s Operations Manager Bryony Hackett said the organisation supported the pipeline proposal. 

“We are certainly of the view that any proposed investment that would improve Guyra's water security for both residents and local businesses is worthwhile,” she said. 

“We, along with the whole community, hope Adam is successful in his efforts to convince the state government to provide funding.”

But Black Mountain Nursery owner Gordon Youman said there were greater priorities.

“It would be good to have a water supply to Guyra but you’ve got to remember there was a drought on and Malpas was the lowest on record,” he said.

“Secondly, the new tomato farm is self sufficient [and] I don’t think the Guyra filtration plant is up to the standard of the Armidale one.

“There’s also a huge algae problem at Malpas … [and] as far as business goes, the nursery is self-sufficient in water.”