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Mayoral letter seeks relief for residents

Publish Date 01/11/2015

The letter was sent to the office of Senator Marise Payne on Friday afternoon, in response to the 'distress and concern' of residents in and around the contamination zone.

In the letter, Mayor MacKenzie implored the Department of Defence and the Federal Government to fund works required to connect the area to Hunter Water infrastructure in the area.

"I believe it is time for the Federal Government and the Department of Defence to step up and act to ease the burden faced by these residents," Mayor MacKenzie wrote.

"At not a great cost to Defence, Hunter Water Corporation could extend existing mains water the three kilometres from Williamtown north to Salt Ash Public School and commercial centre. It could also send a similar spur south from Williamtown to the Fullerton Cove area.

"These works could be completed in quick time by Hunter Water should the costs be met by Defence and the Federal Government. Costs should be minimal in the overall scheme of things, with no pumping stations, treatment works, or other hard infrastructure required other than the extension of existing mains.

"Funding remains the only impediment to the delivery of this vital infrastructure."

The letter, which was also sent to the office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, NSW Premier Mike Baird, Chief of the Defence Force Mark Binskin, Federal Member for Paterson Bob Baldwin, NSW Minister for Lands and Water Niall Blair, NSW Minister for Finance Dominic Perrottet, and NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast Scot MacDonald, also emphasised the personal impacts the contamination investigation is having on residents.

"In light of the dire situation these residents have found themselves in, through no fault of their own, surely it is not too much to ask to fund the ongoing delivery of clean, uncontaminated water," Mayor MacKenzie said.

"I urge you, in the very strongest terms, to act."