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Friday, July 23, 2010

'Works on our sites? News to us!' Update

Major excavation work by the Barwon Water Alliance continues apace at the two pumping stations in Jetty Road, Drysdale and in Bayshore Avenue, Clifton Springs. (See 'Works on our sites? News to us!' 16 July on this blog)

The Barwon Water Alliance's Stakeholder Engagement Group has told DCSCA that in May 2010, the Alliance sent a notice to residents informing them that 'upgrades' would take place at the two pumping stations between June 2010 and March 2011. However, some residents didn't receive a copy of this notice; and the Alliance appears to have no record of who they contacted and who they didn't.

The notice states that, 'During construction, we will endeavour to minimise the impact of construction noise and heavy vehicle movement.' However, at the Jetty Road site, 'construction noise and heavy vehicle movement' is starting as early as 7.15 a.m., as nearby residents and commuters will attest.

The notice also states that, 'Weekend or after hours work is not currently planned. However, if there is a requirement for construction at these times, we will notify nearby residents as early as possible.' Imagine nearby residents' surprise when, with no notification, 'construction noise and heavy vehicle movement' started just before 8.00 a.m. on Saturday 17 July - the first Saturday of serious work on the site. Those same nearby residents have subsequently been told that construction work will also happen on Saturday July 31. Two weekends out of the first three on a site where, 'Weekend or after hours work is not currently planned.'

DCSCA has discussed these events with members of the Stakeholder Engagement Group and with site/project managers and the general view has been that stakeholders in the local community could have been 'engaged' more successfully. DCSCA has said that it is keen to see that process of engagement succeed and is ready to help however it can ... but probably not on Saturdays!

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