Gympie Mayor Glen Hartwig and Deputy Mayor Hilary Smerdon at last year’s Goomeri Show … Cr Smerdon says he’s very happy long-standing problems with Goomeri’s water treatment plant are now fixed

July 23, 2020

Goomeri residents are happy the town’s water plant is finally back in operation after being out of action for more than a year.

The water treatment plant failed last May when its filters became clogged with algae from Kinbombi Weir, forcing the Council to switch the town’s water supply over to bores.

But by August last year – when two bores ran dry and a third was unable to deliver adequate supplies – Council was forced to truck water in from Murgon to meet local demand, along with imposing tight restrictions that limited residents to 180 litres of water use per day.

The state of Goomeri’s water supply was a hot topic at a pre-election meeting held at Goomeri Showgrounds on March 11.

Division 6 Cr Hilary Smerdon said he had resigned as Gympie Regional Council’s Water portfolio chair over the issue because he felt staff were not dealing effectively with the town’s water supply problems.

Cr Smerdon said this issue – along with problems that resulted in Goomeri’s pool being closed through the 2019-20 swimming season – were both due to inadequate Council maintenance.

He promised he would tackle the matter as a top priority if re-elected.

On Wednesday night Cr Smerdon – who is now Gympie’s Deputy Mayor – said he was very happy to report Goomeri’s water plant was now back in operation.

What he was not happy about was that the problem had cost ratepayers about $420,000 to remedy.

Prompt action when the plant first failed 14 months ago would have seen the repair bill come in at about $130,000, he said.

Cr Smerdon also advised that it would take a little time for the water plant’s output to reach all parts of the Goomeri’s water supply system.

However, residents spoke to said they had noticed the difference already.

“I won’t miss seeing white marks every time I wash my car or having my clothes come out of the wash as hard as boards,” one said.

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