Below is an email sent to the Waratah Wynyard Council by a concerned resident with names redacted.
Dear names redacted
Firstly, I am requesting to see a copy of the Pitt & Sherry report compiled for the WW Council regarding their inspection of the Waratah Lake Weir please.
TasWater has announced that they will now begin the decommissioning of the upstream Waratah Reservoir Dam.
This brings more urgency to the downstream Weir repair/replacement issue. I would like you to provide answers to the following six (6) questions please:
1. What is the Consequence Assessment (short- and long-term) of the failure of the Waratah Lake Weir?
2. Has the probability of Weir failure changed at all in light of the evidence presented in recent inspections?
3. How does the risk of Weir failure stack-up against the Comparative Risk of any other WW Council asset failure in order to Justify a Defendable non-expenditure of Council funds to address this risk?
Consequences to consider: a. If/when the Waratah Lake Weir fails, TasWater’s water and sewage treatment plant for the whole town of Waratah will be the very first casualty as it is located at the uppermost level of the Lake. b. This would mean that the ~250 population of the Waratah community, many of them vulnerable, will instantly be without water to drink, shower, clean, or use their toilets. c. It also means that the fire hydrants will be unusable to protect people and property in the event of any fire. d. The Waratah Lake is also a major drawcard and asset for the town’s tourism economy.
4. Does the WW Council have components of an Emergency Plan in place which addresses a Waratah Lake Weir failure?
5. Who will bear the responsibility and the cost for the implementation of supplying water in the interim while the Waratah Lake Weir is repaired/replaced?
This would need to include the continuous supply, delivery and maintenance of safe drinking water, appropriately sized Water Tanks, portable showers and toilets for every household and business, and the ongoing costs associated with the supply of safe water until the Waratah Lake Weir is repaired/replaced.
6. Who will bear the cost to compensate any loss of income and/or health of residents and businesses associated with the loss of Waratah’s water supply?
I have stressed the importance before, and I cannot stress it more strongly now, how the importance of repairing/replacing the Waratah Lake Weir is BEFORE TasWater begins their decommissioning of the upstream Waratah Reservoir Dam in order to provide an interim water supply while the Waratah Lakes Weir repair/replacement works are carried out.
Regards, Name redacted
This was sent to The Advocate newspaper who published the following article on 4 October:
A major problem with the article is that it fails to elucidate on the following items, viz:
Nothing about where the community was going to get water from to cook, wash, clean and flush their toilets, or to run their businesses, or to fight house or bush fires.
Nothing about who was going to provide or pay for this and whether the WW Council had an Emergency Plan in place for this event because they own and are responsible for the Weir.
Nothing about the necessity of repairing/replacing the Weir BEFORE the Reservoir Dam was decommissioned.
And zero photos of the poor state of the weir -supplied
This is NOT independent media reporting.