Passing the buck over Hyden

29 Mar, 2006 08:45 PM
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SEWERAGE works promised to the Hyden community nearly six years ago are yet to be completed, despite public health concerns posed by inadequate existing waste systems.

The previous Liberal State Government approved the Small Country Towns Sewerage pilot program in April 2000 for 20 towns with populations of less than 500.

Hyden was selected for the program.

But local farmer and Hyden Progress Association member Jane Mouritz said despite the association's best efforts, the current State Government had shown a complete disregard for the community's problem.

"There has been no explanation from government as to why the pilot program was ceased," Mrs Mouritz said.

"The State Government has shown us an attitude of 'It's not our problem' and yet there is water lining the streets of town because of a lack of drainage and sewerage.

"This situation would never be allowed to happen in a city suburb."

Mrs Mouritz said the association had written in early February to Planning Minister Alannah MacTiernan, Water Minister John Kobelke, Housing and Works Minister Fran Logan and Health Minister Jim McGinty to elicit some action or response to the sewerage problem.

"We have had no response except for official letters from the ministers saying they received our correspondence," she said.

"Each minister said in their reply that the matter was another minister's responsibility.

"This has been handballed from one minister to another and yet nothing has happened, even though the Health Minister has admitted Hyden is facing public health constraints."

Mrs Mouritz said farm businesses and other industries in Hyden were growing and basic services were necessary to support the growth and attract and retain workers and residents.

"We should not have to fund these projects ourselves, but that is exactly what is happening," she said.

Mrs Mouritz runs a beef cattle feedlot and a beef cattle and broadacre grain operation with her husband and family.

The family company also builds housing in conjunction with the progress association.

The association has had to provide $60,000 - from community members - to ensure new Housing and Works Department development went ahead.

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