Improved water security for Goldfields and Wheatbelt in the pipeline

  • Initial $15 million commitment to boost future Goldfields and Wheatbelt water security
  • New funding provided as part of 2024-2025 State Budget for essential planning work to scope future upgrades
  • Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply Scheme spans 9,601 kilometres, supplying more than 100,000 customers
  • Cook Government continuing its record investment into strong and vibrant regions

Future upgrades to the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply Scheme (GAWSS) are being prioritised with the Cook Government investing $15 million to help support long-term economic development in the Goldfields and Wheatbelt.

Funded as part of the 2024-2025 State Budget, the new funding will enable Water Corporation to undertake critical scoping and design work as it plans the staged upgrades required to meet future demand, including for the Goldfields strategic industrial areas.

The GAWSS totalling 9,601km in length, including the heritage-listed Goldfields Pipeline supplies drinking water to more than 100,000 residential and business customers from Mundaring to Kalgoorlie, including Northam, Cunderdin, Kellerberrin, Merredin and Southern Cross.

Water Corporation has commenced concept design studies, with planning to consider options to expedite the delivery of the upgrades, including early engagement with potential partners, as well as detailed engineering design and on-site preliminary works.

The work will include designing an initial 112km of upgraded Goldfields Pipeline, pump stations and ancillary infrastructure (surge vessels, treatment units and storage), involving further heritage, environmental, topographical and geotechnical surveys.

This will be supported by ongoing consultation with key stakeholders, including landowners, local government and Traditional Owners, around the proposed alignment of the upgraded section.

Recognising the significance of the Goldfields Pipeline, the project will align to a forthcoming heritage interpretation strategy and management plan guided by a community research project completed last year to help preserve the 121-year-old pipeline’s heritage and tourism value.

The Goldfields is strategically important to Western Australia and, as a growing regional centre, securing its water supply for the future is critical. Pending further approvals, the staged upgrades to the GAWSS are expected to commence in 2025.

As stated by Water Minister Simone McGurk:

“A strong and thriving Goldfields region is critical to Western Australia’s development,

so we’re getting on with planning for residential, mining and industrial customers – now and into the future.

“This initial $15 million commitment will fund detailed design and engineering works to inform a long-term program of staged upgrades to the Goldfields Pipeline.

“Progressive upgrades to the Goldfields Pipeline remain the most cost-effective and reliable solution to meet increasing demand unlocking more opportunities for economic development and growth in the Goldfields and Wheatbelt.

“The Goldfields Pipeline has a rich history. These upgrades will ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the community and industry for years to come, and Kalgoorlie continues to be one of the industrial heartlands of the State.”

Comments attributed to Kalgoorlie MLA Ali Kent:

“The Goldfields Pipeline has supported regional development and prosperity in the Goldfields since opening in 1903. It’s so important to industry, residents and the community in general.

“This$15 million Cook Government investment will help deliver significant upgrades, ensuring the pipeline will continue to provide vital, and reliable water supply to the region.”

/Public Release. View in full here.