Angler concern over Macquarie Pipeline compliance

ANGLING groups opposed to a controversial pipeline on the Macquarie River in central western NSW say the Council overseeing the construction is not complying with government conditions set out for the project.

Fisho has been contacted by concerned anglers who claim the Orange Regional Council has failed to comply with Planning Department conditions and federal and local governments are so far appearing to overlook the breaches.

Fisho understands that one of the main areas of concern is that if construction conditions aren’t complied to prior to completion of the pipeline, it may follow that agreed “trigger” levels for the pumping of water from the Macquarie River may be also flouted, potentially causing long term environmental damage to the river’s fragile ecosystem and populations of native fish and aquatic animal life.

Spokesperson for the Orange and Region Water Security Alliance, Paul Wettin wrote to the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure in September to voice his group’s concerns over a perceived lack of adherence to Approval Conditions. The Orange and Region Water Security Alliance is still awaiting a response from the department.

In his letter, Wettin raised questions over the appointment of an Environmental Representative to oversee the project. He points out that the person selected for the position, Mr Andrew Brownlow “is the Environmental Manager for the consulting company Geolyse based in Orange. Geolyse was directly involved in the design of the project, primarily undertaking the hydrological studies and reports provided in the Environmental Assessment for the project.”

“It is possible that Geolyse has been or will be engaged for activities associated with the implementation and construction of this project. This is a situation where a direct conflict of interest could occur,” Wettin wrote.

Read Paul Wettin’s letter to the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure in full HERE.

Fisho will keep readers updated of any further developments, if and when they occur.

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