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Valley winemakers worried  by  pipe  plan
Concerned: Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association president Duncan Harris. Picture: Pic Michael O'Brien/The West Australian

Swan Valley winemakers fear plans for a new pipeline to service Perth's growing northern suburbs could endanger the wine and tourist region.

The Water Corporation has yet to choose a corridor for the pipeline but two of the three proposed routes pass through the Swan Valley.

Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association president Duncan Harris, who also owns Harris Organic Wines, warned in a submission to the Water Corp that the Swan Valley routes risked "at best inefficient land use and at worst the disablement of a whole industry".

He said the soil structure of the region could be ruined, vineyards destroyed and it would be an "economic disaster for producers".

Tourism would also be affected by pipe installation works.

City of Swan chief executive officer Mike Foley said the city shared some of the winemakers' concerns and had raised them with the Water Corp.

"The city's preferred routes for the pipeline would either follow Lord Street and Beechboro Road North or the planned Perth-Darwin National Highway," he said.

A Water Corp spokeswoman said the project formed part of its long-term planning for the northern suburbs of Perth and community consultation had started in late 2012.

"Environmental approval is being sought for three preferred pipeline corridors from the Environmental Protection Authority, so we can determine the best route for the future," she said.

"We strongly encourage all community feedback, and reassure residents that it will be fully considered during these early planning stages for a northern pipeline corridor.

"We will keep working with the winemakers in the Swan Valley and have committed to keeping them informed of the progress of the corridor investigation."

WA's Environmental Protection Authority has already deemed the project will be assessed at the public environmental review level.

The Water Corp is expected to put in its submission in November, which will likely be released for public comment early next year.

The West Australian

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