Monarto, Callington residents' water supply will not run dry on March 9

Barry Wilson

Barry Wilson

More than 70 Monarto and Callington residents will keep their water supply until at least June 30 after a reprieve was negotiated.

The residents - including primary producers responsible for more than 3000 head of sheep, horses and goats - had been notified in January that their mains water would be cut off on Wednesday, March 9.

Recognising that this has been a stressful time for residents, I have negotiated a temporary arrangement ... to maintain supply.

Ian Hunter

Their supply came from a pipeline owned by SA Water but operated by the Aboriginal Sobriety Group.

Water Minister Ian Hunter said he recognised that the past two months had been stressful for residents.

“The arrangement provides additional time for residents to develop a joint plan for longer-term arrangements for the water supply scheme,” he said.

“I will be meeting with residents in the near future to provide information about possible solutions.”

Mark Goldsworthy, the Member for Kavel who took his constituents' worries to Mr Hunter, said the four-month extension was a "good first step".

"It's very good news, very pleasing for the community, because it was quite distressing for them," he said.

"I'm quite confident we'll work through the issue, whether (or not) another entity is formed to take over the administration and management of the scheme.

"They're all things the minister's office, myself and ESCOSA (the Essential Services Commission of South Australia) will work through."

Other options raised by residents included SA Water taking over responsibility for the pipeline, or else another private operator such as Australian Portable Camps stepping into the gap.

Last month, Monarto resident Barry Wilson told The Standard it was "unimaginable" that the water main could be turned off.

"We are coming off summer and many people may not have water resources," he said at the time. "Animals could be lost because people wouldn't have anything in place given the short notice."