With roughly the same number of residents now as it hosted over a century ago, it’s easy to wonder how Goorambat came to be. But Goorambat still has the two things that brought settlers to it back in 1861 – Good land and good water.
Selectors first took up farms near Broken Creek, forming the first Goorambat European settlement. With great swathes of land and little tree cover to interrupt it, it drew pastoralists (mainly dairy) and agriculturalists, both of which tapped Broken Creek to supply and replenish their farms.
By 1869 Goorambat joined the Shire of Benalla and by 1882 the water supply was under the purview of the Benalla Water Trust. With their assistance, Goorambat was the site of the first successful irrigation weir in northern Victoria. Casey Weir on Broken River (near the junction with Stockyard Creek) was built in 1886 to divert water into Broken Creek for stock and domestic supply further north.
North East Water
Historically Goorambat’s water was supplied from a diversion weir on Broken Creek.
By the time the Ovens Region Water Authority assumed control of Goorambat’s water supply in 1994, the town’s water supply was from groundwater, as had been the case since 1992. Water was sourced from a groundwater bore, with the water pumped to an elevated tank. From there the water was gravity fed to the township’s reticulation system. At the time the water supply serviced a population of 120 people.
The former supply from a diversion weir on Broken Creek remained an alternative source of supply in the event of an emergency.
In 2013 North East Water began investigating opportunities to increase the quality and reliability of Goorambat’s water supply. This involved looking at options to increase the supply from groundwater, which at the time was from a shallow groundwater bore.
More reliable water supply for Goorambat
The original water supply from a shallow bore was subject to unreliability during periods of drought.
Towards the end of 2017 North East Water completed an 11 kilometre pipeline to link Goorambat to Yarrawonga’s water supply. The pipeline cost $1.5 million and was an extension of the existing pipeline that previously ended in Devenish.
The treated water from Yarrawonga is transferred to the tank at Goorambat, pumped to the water tower and then gravity fed to the reticulation.
The water now supplied to Goorambat is of a higher quality, thanks to the increased treatment processes in place. The new pipeline also provides Goorambat’s residents with a more reliable water supply, with around 70 homes and businesses benefiting, which is a great outcome for the community.
Goorambat’s residents use septic tanks to treat their domestic wastewater.