Making our waterways safer

Tenders are open for the construction of a rock ramp and fishway at the South Dubbo weir.Tenders are open for the construction of a rock ramp and fishway at the South Dubbo weir.

Dubbo City Council director technical services Stewart McLeod said the weir safety improvements included the construction of a rock ramp and fishway and would be completed early in 2016.

Since it was built in 1942, nine people have drowned at the weir, two of which occurred in 2008 and 2011.

“The construction will take place in accordance with approved designs and include creating a number of ridges and pools on the downstream side of the weir to create the ramp.

“Importantly the construction will have to ensure the protection of the existing weir, maintain the existing river flows and have contingencies in place in case of high flows throughout the construction period.

“This will involve putting in diversions around the work area to maintain the river flow while also preventing any pollution to the river downstream or upstream of the operations. “The fishway is created by creating a series of ridges of large rocks with spaces in between. Migrating fish will be able to swim from pool to pool and eventually swim upstream of the weir.”

Construction is expected to start in December. During construction the area will not be accessible to the public.

Dubbo City Council has allocated $4 million in its 2015/2016 Draft Operational Plan and Budget to construction works at the South Dubbo Weir.

Initially, council would have had to fork out $1 million of that funding just to acquire the weir from the NSW government, however that was reduced to about $15,000.

The $857,000 was based on the value of the weir itself, however after council pursued to attain the weir at “a nil or nominal cost” from the NSW government, only the value of the land plus reasonable administrative and legal costs would need to be paid.

Tenders will be received up to 10am November 3 and a mandatory site meeting will be held on October 21.

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