ORANGE City Council will push on with the $47 million Macquarie pipeline, despite last week’s approval still being open for a legal appeal for at least the next 28 days.
A spokeswoman for the federal department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities said the pipeline decision could be subject to judicial review if a party applies to the Federal Court of Australia within 28 days of receiving a document outlining the reasons for the approval.
Opponents to the project will need to apply for the document and prove they are a “person aggrieved” by the pipeline with their interests adversely affected.
“For any other person aggrieved by the decision, an application can be made for a statement of reasons within a reasonable time after the decision was made and the application for judicial review must usually be made within 28 days of the date of receipt of the statement of reasons,” she said.
“A person who merely disagrees with a decision is unlikely to be considered to be a person aggrieved.”
Council spokesman Allan Reeder said council had not received any advice that an appeal was pending and would carry on with the project, beginning with the construction management plan to detail how each condition will be met.
The Orange and Region Water Security Alliance’s Paul Wettin said any potential legal action would be a serious and costly matter, but the alliance would apply for the statement of reasons and was seeking legal advice to find out how the “person aggrieved” clause was applied.
“The alliance is built around volunteers from community groups who have very limited access to funds, unlike Orange City Council or other levels of government who can rely on ratepayers or taxpayers to foot legal bills,” he said.
Mr Wettin said the alliance may take weeks to decide if legal action would be pursued.
Pipeline opponent Cyril Smith said objectors had a petition before the federal environment minister which could affect the approval.