Water pipe replacement on time for Beaufort St

Concerns have been raised following community-reported delays with water pipe replacement and upgrades on Beaufort Street and the potential for this to affect the Inglewood night markets.

Concerns have been raised following community-reported delays with water pipe replacement and upgrades on Beaufort Street and the potential for this to affect the Inglewood night markets.

However, the Water Corporation has refuted the claims, saying the project is not delayed. It is due for completion as originally planned in November.

Stirling Council express concern about water pipe replacement

At the recent Stirling council meeting, Cr Bianca Sandri urgently requested the mayor write to the Water Corporation, Water Minister Dave Kelly and Maylands MLA Lisa Baker. They asked for a timeframe for the Pipes for Perth program to be completed.

Cr Sandri said the community had contacted her, saying the project was behind schedule, with only the first stage complete.

She said Inglewood was part of the third stage, from Central Avenue to Dundas Road. The markets are due to start in September, but it looked like the project could go beyond November.

“This means it will start to implicate (the markets’) viability and their options,” Cr Sandri said.

She requested the letters ask if the program is delayed. If so, the Inglewood section could be postponed until the closure of the market season.

Works on track for water pipe replacement

However, a Water Corporation spokesperson confirmed construction of the second stage, from First Avenue to Central Avenue, was on track for completion in late August. Stage three was due to start immediately after and be completed by late October or early November.

“Water Corporation has been engaging with the organiser of the Inglewood Night Market since January to communicate road closures and traffic management requirements during stage three works,” they said.

“Water Corporation, City of Stirling and the organiser of the Inglewood Night Market, are liaising on an approach that will allow the night market and project to co-exist.”

The Water Corporation spokesperson said “The water pipe replacement and upgrade works are essential to mitigate the increased risk of breaks and leaks as the pipes reach the end of their useful life.” As such, delaying the project until the closure of the market season was viewed as not an option.

Cr Sandri said she had also been told that small businesses and the community were not being kept up to date or advised of when roads would be closed. Cr Sandri asked for the mayor’s letter to also request the Water Corporation improve its communication and marketing strategy.

Water Corporation reassure community about water pipe replacement progress

But the Water Corporation spokesperson said it started early engagement with local businesses and community groups in March 2020.

“A working group was established in late 2021 once a construction schedule was confirmed for the 2022 program,” they said.

“The working group was created to ensure businesses, residents, and city representatives can engage regularly with Water Corporation before and during construction.”

Community engagement key to Water Corporation

“Water Corporation’s dedicated community engagement team has undertaken regular engagement. It is a core part of our business to ensure residents and businesses are kept informed on timing for road closures.”

This had included a dedicated project page on the Water Corporation website. They also sent out weekly project update emails to registered working group members, and the City of Stirling. They shared eight postal and electronic notifications on the website, with some covering four suburbs.

A dedicated community liaison officer is also engaging with businesses and residents daily. The liaison officer has completed more than 80 business visits in the last fortnight.

“We acknowledge the temporary impact of these essential works. We are doing all we can to minimise the disruption,” the spokesperson said.

“Feedback is always welcome. We encourage people who want to know more or have suggestions to visit our web page or contact our community liaison officer.”

The Pipes for Perth program started in April, replacing 2.1km of water pipe on Beaufort Street between Walcott Street in Mt Lawley and Dundas Road in Inglewood.

The works are to be completed in three stages by Subiaco contractor Civcon, with stage one spanning from Walcott Street to First Avenue, stage two along First Avenue to Central Avenue and stage three from Central Avenue to Dundas Road.

Each stage is expected to take about eight weeks.

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