Pipeline a monumental disruption


THE laying of the Lance Creek Water Connection has caused major disruption to Barry Wakley’s mason business, after his landline was cut for more than a fortnight.

The Jumbunna resident said he has been without both his landline and internet connection after construction on the pipeline saw 150m of phone cable pulled out of the ground near his property.

“We were away on holidays and when we returned we discovered our phone had been disconnected for the past two weeks,” Mr Wakley of Barry Wakley Sculptors said.
“Telstra said it will not be back on until February 14, which will mean we end up being four weeks without a phone line.”

The lifelong mason works with more than 40 cemeteries across the state, many of which rely on him to craft more than 90 per cent of their monuments and headstones.

Without access to his website and landline, Mr Wakley had more than 250 phone calls diverted to his workers’ mobile phones within the fortnight.

“Our clients cannot get through to us and our worry now is that they will start turning to other businesses,” he said.

“It is getting ridiculous. We are dealing with a lot of cemeteries and when we came in to work on Thursday our workers were just spraying weeds on the property. We did not have any other work to do. We were in limbo.”

Mr Wakley said he believed the contractors did not follow protocols in checking the area before starting to dig.

“The cable was less than a metre below the ground, so I do not think the workers conducted a ‘dial before you dig’,” he said.

“I am starting to frighten them. I will be looking to fight for over a quarter of a million dollars.”

Wakley Sculptors received more than 20 tonnes of granite last week, valued at over $5 million.

“I have been in the business for 72 years,” he said.

“My family has worked in this field all the way back to 1530. I do not want to put my business at risk because of this disruption.”

The Lance Creek Water Connection pipeline disrupting Mr Wakley’s business is part of the State Government’s project delivered by South Gippsland Water to secure water supply in Korumburra, Poowong,  Loch and Nyora over the next 50 years.

The $43 million project will consist of 20km of pipe connecting Lance Creek Reservoir to the Korumburra Water Treatment Plant.

South Gippsland Water was contacted for comment.

Pipeline problem: Jumbunna’s Barry Wakley has been without his landline or internet for more than a fortnight after cables connecting his property during construction of the Lance Creek Water Connection were damaged.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23981

Posted by on Feb 6 2018. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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