KAVHA update

Watermill Dam

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development (The Department) is planning a project in early 2020 to remove sediments from the millpond behind the Watermill Dam in KAVHA and repair the dam’s sluice gate to increase the dam’s water holding capacity.

Two important precursors for the work include the development of an environmental impact assessment to prevent adverse impacts from project activities on local freshwater fauna, local flora and heritage values, and the development of a community engagement plan to provide opportunities for community participation in the project and reduce inconvenience for dam users.

The Department is seeking Expressions of Interest from suitably skilled and experienced members of the community to prepare an environmental impact assessment and consultation/engagement plan for this project. You can indicate an interest in the project by providing your name and contact details by email to project territories_projects@infrastructure.gov.au by 3.00 pm on 5 December 2019.

The Department will register the expressions of interest received on AusTender. Those expressing interest will be provided with access to the project on the AusTender site to obtain further details of the work requirements and instructions for preparing their response.

KAVHA wastewater management upgrade

The existing wastewater assets in KAVHA are ineffective and unable to prevent the discharge of contaminated water into the waterways that flow into Emily Bay. The Department has consulted with Council staff and other people with knowledge of the existing underground services in KAVHA to prepare a concept design for a piped sewer network in KAVHA.

An archaeologist will be engaged early in 2020 to undertake a detailed survey of the proposed route to identify risks posed to heritage values from required excavations and how these can be addressed.  A detailed survey has also been completed for a proposed route up Middlegate Road to enable all sewage generated within KAVHA to be delivered to the Norfolk Island water treatment plant. 

There will be opportunities for public comment on the preferred route and construction schedule once the information from the archaeological survey is incorporated into the system design.

Construction of the new system is likely to commence in mid to late 2020 subject to the project obtaining the necessary development, heritage and environmental approvals.

Very high priority safety repairs to heritage assets

An engineer and heritage specialist recently visited Norfolk Island to conduct detailed inspections of the heritage assets on Norfolk Island considered as presenting a high safety risk to the community and visitors. These include the Royal Engineer’s Office portico, the unrestrained northern gable of the Civil Hospital, the Arthur’s Vale retaining wall and the arched wall at Longridge. 

Designs and repair methodologies and heritage impact assessments for each of these will be prepared by early 2020. Opportunities for the community to view the engineered designs and give feedback on repair options will be announced in the new year.

The Department has also commissioned an inspection of the foundations of the Bounty Street Bridge and the development of options for preventing its further subsidence and potential collapse.

Heritage management plan for Longridge Arches

In addition to the design and repair methodologies being considered for the arched building at Longridge, the Department is developing a heritage management plan for the building. The plan will identify in detail the heritage values of the building and conservation policies to be followed. It will assist future management decisions, site interpretation and possible future actions and referrals.

In 2020, the draft heritage management plan will be made available for public consultation so the community can contribute ideas for conserving and interpreting the building.

Protecting and managing the heritage values of the building will deliver improved visitor experiences, benefit local tourism operators and ensure that future generations can continue to experience and enjoy the significant heritage values of the site.

If you would like to find out more about these or any other KAVHA matters, please contact Martin Purslow, Heritage Manager, on 23115 or at martin.purslow@infrastructure.gov.au.

Mr Eric Hutchinson
Chair, KAVHA Advisory Committee

November 2019