Macquarie River pipeline gets go ahead

DESPITE ongoing opposition from angling groups and residents of Orange and the surrounding district, the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) has approved the Macquarie River to Orange Pipeline Project in Central Western NSW.

The Western Advocate reports that Orange Mayor John Davis has said for decades Orange has been at the mercy of the next drought.

“With the PAC approval we are now very close to ensuring that threat is a thing of the past.

The project still needs Commonwealth approval. But it has been through a thorough assessment and I am hopeful it will receive a green light from the Commonwealth,” Cr Davis said.

“One significant recommendation adopted by the PAC is a higher trigger-point when pumping from the river can begin; up from a minimum of 38 megalitres of flows a day before pumping could commence to 108 megalitres a day.”

“Just over three years ago, Orange faced level six water restrictions, which would have resulted in significant impacts on some businesses operating in the city. We dodged that bullet, just,” Cr Davis said.

“It rained and we got away with it. But waiting for rain is no way to manage the needs of a growing regional city.”

Angling groups are up in arms over the project which they say will pump water from the Macquarie River when at its lowest levels, risking native fish populations including endangered trout cod which have been successfuly restocked into the waterway. Fisho undertands that NSW DPI trout cod restocking efforts below the pump site will cease as a result of the project going ahead.   

Groups opposed to the project now rest their hopes on the federal Government stepping in to halt the controversial project.

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