LANDHOLDERS affected by the Macquarie pipeline have given up their fight to stop the pipeline cutting through their properties and now just hope Orange City Council will live up to its promises to minimise the project’s environmental impact.
Fiona Ostini said a substantial amount of pipeline goes through her property and she was yet to be convinced the project was a good idea.
Her chief concerns are the risk of soil erosion, weeds management and other ongoing environmental problems from the 39-kilometre pipeline.
“[Council] have given us all sorts of assurances,” she said.
“They’ve spent a lot of money already and they’ll be trying to keep to budget as well as having the challenge of doing what is best for the environment.”
Mrs Ostini said she and fellow landholders could not afford the legal fight to appeal the approval and most had already signed agreements with council.
Losing access to the land where the pipeline will be laid during construction would affect livestock on her property and the management of the farm, she said.
Another landholder Norm Rowland will have about 1.2 kilometres of the pipeline cut through his 300 hectare property.
The pipeline will be laid about 50 metres from his home and while work is underway he will be forced to relocate stock away from the six metre wide fenced easement.
“I certainly resent the time I put into fighting this thing,” he said.
“I suspect now I’ve signed the easement agreement there aren’t many avenues for appeal unless something pretty grotesque happens.”
He is concerned about soil erosion and the disruption to his lifestyle of the “inevitable” pipeline and doesn’t believe any landholders will benefit from power and road upgrades as part of the project.
Fellow landholder Colin Young was one of the pipeline’s most outspoken opponents.
About three kilometres of pipeline will run through his 800 hectare property, but he is pleased a change to the route removing a dog leg proposed for his property was agreed to by the council avoiding a prime lambing paddock.
“I was pessimistic, I always felt there was no doubt it would be approved and that nothing would stop it,” he said.
“But from a farmer’s point of view they have made modifications and changes that have made it so I can live with it.”
Mr Young said landholders hoped erosion and weeds around the pipeline were monitored forever.