Marking 30 years in the water industry: Peter Honebone

Tuesday 18 July, 2017

Peter Honebone reckons Cairn Curran Reservoir is one of Victoria’s top spots.

As a Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) Senior Reservoir Officer there, he may be a tad biased.

“Cairn Curran is one of the best places in Victoria – for lifestyle and location.”

Peter has worked at the reservoir for 20 years – which is located on the Loddon River, about 10km west of Maldon.

The reservoir supplies irrigation and stock and domestic water to nearby communities and on any given day, Peter might be assisting with operation of the dam, visual inspections or a range of maintenance tasks.

He’s part of a six-person team – which includes Andrew Gillingham, Peter Gerolemou, Kevin Henderson, Ashley Beamish and Dale Farnsworth.

While 90 per cent of Peter’s time is spent at Cairn Curran Reservoir, he also works at Tullaroop Reservoir, Laanecoorie Reservoir, Newlyn Reservoir and Hepburn Lagoon.

 “We do a whole range of things,” Peter said. “We are also the waterway manager for Cairn Curran Reservoir and Laanecoorie Reservoir. Duties include bylaw enforcement, boating buoy placement, mowing and maintenance of public recreation facilities.”

From October onwards and throughout the warmer months, this is undoubtedly the busiest time for the Cairn Curran team in terms of recreational use.

“Australia Day would be our busiest – and Laanecoorie Reservoir gets busier than here. It can be challenging,” Peter said.

This year, he is reflecting on an impressive 30 years in the water industry.

Peter’s first job before entering the industry was a six-year apprenticeship as a fitter and turner with Thompson Byron Jackson in Castlemaine.

He then joined the Rural Water Commission in Bendigo in 1987, which later became the Rural Water Corporation, and said the work involved helping to maintain urban supply and pumps for sites at Bendigo, Castlemaine, Raywood, Cairn Curran and Eppalock.

Peter also completed stints at Lake Nillachootie, Rocklands Reservoir (in the Grampians) and Laanecoorie Reservoir before his arrival at Cairn Curran.

Outside of work, you might find him on a motocross track or with a Playstation controller in hand.

“I’ve been racing motocross since I was 10 years old.”

While Peter is modest about his motocross success, he’s competed in nine Hattah Desert Races on a CRF450 and picked up Victorian titles when he was a junior in the 80cc and 100cc class and sidecar class.

On his bucket list is a plan to compete in the Finke Desert Race June 2018.

“Hopefully on a new KTM450,” Peter said.

He’s also bounced back from a motocross accident in August 2008 when he collided with a tree stump and seriously injured his foot.

If that doesn’t keep him busy enough, Peter built his own home in Maldon in 2003, which took him 18 months to complete.

“I thought I would have a crack at it.”

He has three children – aged 29, 26 and 21, and two grandchildren.