Council s**t show in Cassilis

Filed in Just In by October 25, 2021

RESIDENTS of Cassilis will need to hold for even longer to get a sewerage system, after Council’s budget for the project blew out from $2.64million to more than $4.3million.

The sewerage system was due for completion in 2022, but in the Council meeting tonight it came to light that the project will now go back to the drawing board.  

During the meeting Councillor Lee Watts wanted to know how the budget could have blown out from $2.6million to $4.3million leaving the village of Cassilis without the sewerage system they are entitled to.

Cr Watts’ question was not answered, instead the general manager, Greg McDonald took the question on notice to answer at a later date.

In 1997 water was declared non-potable in Cassilis due to microbiological contamination, with residents boiling water for two years until a chlorinator was installed.

In 2014 a study identified health and environmental risks in Cassilis posed by the lack of sewerage system including:

  • Of the 53 Council registered on-site septic systems, 26 showed signs of failing and two required new tanks;
  • Poor soils and pooling of effluent on the surface of the ground;
  • Wet and boggy ground conditions and high numbers of mosquitoes;
  • Effluent runoff onto adjoining properties and watercourses, especially during wet periods;
  • Odours;
  • Contamination and pollution of waterways;
  • Contamination of groundwater (evident in bore water supply) and posing a risk of gastroenteritis;
  • Evidence of algae and weed growth in the Munmurra River indicating high nutrient loads and possible oxygen depletion, likely due to septic runoff.

The state government had contributed $1.22million to the project and Council were to fund the remaining $1.47, now there is an additional $1.66million needed and the whole project needs to be reassessed. There was no indication of when Cassilis may have a sewerage system.

Editorial note: While it was tempting to make puns about toilets and sewerage throughout this story and while for a long time I have had little faith in this Council being capable of undertaking any project successfully and on budget, it still beggars belief that I am reporting on yet another monumental stuff up which is costing ratepayers millions more than budgeted and leaving the residents of Cassilis with health risks until it is fixed. The fact that they could not even answer Cr Watts as to how it has gone over budget shows the Council is not capable of managing public funds and delivering basic services anymore. It’s a complete shit show.

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