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Airport fire system pipes to be replaced

Underground asbestos cement (A/C) fire system pipes and the existing fire hydrant coverage at the town’s Airport will be replaced with a new system suited to today’s Australian Standards.

Though 95 per cent of the original A/C fire services pipes are still intact since they were  installed in the 1980s, it was decided the pipes – now over 40 years old – were coming to the end of their useful life, a realisation backed up by airside water bursts occurring recently.

Mayor Tom Kennedy said at this month’s Council meeting, “the pipeline itself doesn’t have enough capacity, and that’s the reality.

“That’s really instrumental in going forward with the [Airport] Masterplan, you want to make sure that all the services out there to keep people safe and keep infrastructure safe are up to standard. It’s been identified over many years that it’s been an issue, and this Council has taken the action to rectify it.”

The works, including the airside piping replacement, are set to be completed alongside the wider airside pavement project currently being undertaken by Council.

Cllr Kennedy believes the two scopes of work being completed at the same time won’t cause delays to either project.

“The best thing about doing things at the same time is you already have a lot of the contractors that are required to do it. Instead of double handling things, you get things done before,” he said.

“For example, when you’re doing new aprons and taxiways, you need to make sure that you’re not pulling them up twice, putting piping, and all that sort of stuff. The best thing about doing it all at once is it’s usually cost savings, and you usually get the same people doing the job as you go.”

It’s expected the new project will be delivered over around 12 months, with planning and procurement to begin this month after GHD Pty Ltd prepared and designed documentation as the principal design consultant.

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