AN inspection of the Macquarie pipeline site by Cabonne councillors and staff has again reignited a push for Orange councillors to officially visit the 37 kilometre route as a group.
Nine of the 12 Cabonne councillors visited the Cabonne Council owned land where the pipeline will cut through to better understand the scope and impacts of the project.
Orange councillor and pipeline opponent Neil Jones said it was great Cabonne councillors had visited the area but criticised council for not inspecting the extraction point.
He said all Orange councillors should visit the site of the pipeline after the planning department makes a final decision and puts the determination on public display.
“If they recommend approval with a whole heap of conditions there will be more public interest ... and that is when I’ll be calling for a an inspection,” he said.
While Cr Jones acknowledged some Orange councillors had visited “different components” of the pipeline route at various times he said he was disappointed the full council had not examined the alternative route and new extraction point.
Pipeline landholder and opponent Fiona Ostini agreed and said Cabonne should have inspected the site earlier.
“Certainly landholders are very concerned once it goes ahead we need to make sure mitigation happens, that things that are broken are fixed,” she said.
“It’s part of [Cabonne’s] role to make sure the landholders are looked after. Cabonne themselves are actually going to be the landholders most affected.”
Mayor John Davis said an official site inspection for Orange councillors could be arranged if requested but said most were already well aware of the route and some knew it better than him.
“I’ve been out in that area in the last few years a number of times but I wouldn’t say I’ve stepped every foot of it, far from it,” he said.
“I can understand the Cabonne councillors going but it’s up to individual [Orange] councillors.”
Cabonne councillors Anthony Durkin, Michael Hayes, and Ian Davison did not attend the site inspection due to work commitments.