GREAT WESTERN - Northern Grampians Shire Council has received a subdivision application for Great Western just days after the Minister for Water, Peter Walsh formally opened the town's new sewerage scheme.
An existing wastewater treatment plant owned by Seppelts Winery has been modified and is already providing homes in the area with a safe and efficient method of disposing of waste.
"This is an innovative solution to use existing infrastructure to support the wider town's sewerage needs, and is an improvement on the previous septic tank system," Mr Walsh said.
"The sewerage scheme will overcome any environmental or health issues that can arise from existing septic tanks, absorption trenches and grey water systems."
Northern Grampians Shire Council CEO, Justine Linley said the implementation of the sewerage scheme was a significant milestone for the town.
"This is incredibly important, something that the Great Western community has been working with council and the water authority for, for more than 10 years," she said.
"To finally have the sewerage scheme in place creates incredible development opportunities for the town and is also beneficial to public health and safety.
"To now have the entire town as part of a sewerage scheme is just wonderful.
"A critical thing is that we've already received our first subdivision application for multiple lots that means there is real potential for economic growth and housing in a really beautiful town."
Great Western was identified as a priority town to be sewered through the Victorian Government's Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program.
Construction works commenced in Great Western in November 2012 with the project completed and commissioned on October 1, 2013.
The Victorian Government provided $215,000 towards the $1.6 million project as part of its Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program.
The balance of the funding was provided by Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water and landowners.
"The real key thing I see out of this is that we've actually had the council, the water authority, Seppelts and the Great Western community all working together to get a good solution," Mr Walsh said.
"We are seeing some more innovation in how we sewer country towns and I think this will be one I will talk about at other places other than Great Western because it is actually a celebration of community working together.
"To have Seppelts and the water authority work together to actually use Seppelts facility to treat the sewerage from the town is a great concept and actually keeps the cost down.
"What you see as our smaller country communities get sewered is that they actually grow and blossom."
So far 27 Great Western properties have applied to connect to the scheme over the next two years.
"It has been a great project for the community with a number of customers already connected," GWMWater Managing Director, Mark Williams said.
"The take up rate reflects the level of community support for the project."
Nationals candidate for Ripon, Scott Turner joined Mr Walsh for the official opening and said it was important for regional towns like Great Western to have infrastructure and services in order to grow.
"This is a great project for Great Western that will improve the liveability of the area and also promote further development."
A new sewerage scheme was recently completed by GWMWater in Lake Bolac.