A study will over the next year look into the viability of a long sought-after reticulated sewerage system for Dookie and identify alternative options for the town’s wastewater management.
The research, co-funded by Greater Shepparton City Council and Goulburn Valley Water, hopes to contribute data to the town’s aspirations of becoming sewered and to map out future possible directions.
Dookie’s leadership forum is keen to see advocacy for a reticulated sewerage system for the town identified as a key priority. And discussions appear to be under way in laying the groundwork for a feasibility study into sewering the town.
Goulburn Valley Water’s Alan Tyson said one of the first pieces of fact-finding work needed was to identify concerns around the town’s existing situation before gauging options available.
Once results from the study were revealed, stakeholders would ‘‘get back together as a group and talk about what those results mean,’’ Mr Tyson said. He expected this to happen late next year.
‘‘We need to think about how that would happen, if in fact it was to happen,’’ he said of the potential to push forward with discussions about a reticulated sewerage system. But he stressed it might not be needed, or be the only answer.
‘‘We’re moving forward together on this issue, supporting the forum as much as we can, to investigate ... and see where it lands,’’ Mr Tyson said.
Former Dookie forum chairman Don Bryant stressed advocating for an improved sewerage option for the town remained his top priority.
He believed residents were restricted by the existing infrastructure and that it might be serving to detract potential newcomers to the town.
The longer-term goal was to ensure the town’s population could sustain local community organisations, he said.
Consultation is under way to inform the town’s updated community plan.
A survey now seeking responses asks people to identify priorities for the town, including ‘advocate for waste water treatment.’ It seeks feedback on the level of importance respondents attached to ‘‘a sewerage-water management plan that addresses grey, black and storm water’’ and ‘‘waste water treatment and reuse system for the Dookie township.’’
Dookie and District Development Forum chairwoman Jeanette Ryan said responses to the consultation would be considered at a forum at the end of the month, where priorities would be discussed and identified.