Orange City Council has taken an arrogant bulldozer approach to the Macquarie Pipeline project, according to a Cabonne council candidate.
Cr Lachlan MacSmith said the $47million project was a regional issue that was “too big” for Orange alone.
“It’s not just about Orange’s real estate and ‘we’re open for business’,” he said.
“If I get back on council I will push for Cabonne, Orange, Blayney and Central Tablelands Water to sit down and have a look at this issue again.”
With three Orange councillors supportive of the pipeline set to stand down at Saturday’s election, Cr MacSmith said it was an opportunity to revisit the project.
“There’s too many ifs and buts to go ahead with the project when you don’t have the consensus from all councillors,” he said.
Like many parties opposing the pipeline, Cr MacSmith advocates a regional solution for water security and believes Cadia Valley Operations and mines proposed for Kings Plains, Lewis Ponds and Molong should also contribute money.
“[The pipeline] is not going to help the mines at all,” he said.
Although he acknowledges a regional solution could cost $300 million he believes it is “narrow minded” to spend $47 million on Orange alone.
One radical future solution Cr MacSmith suggests would be to link all the dams in the region including Burrendong, Chifley, and Wyangala.
But in the short term he would like to see Orange council reapply to the state government to have the stormwater harvesting licence increased.
Cr MacSmith was critical of Orange councillors who had not visited the site of the pipeline and also believed Cabonne should have more input into the project which cuts through Cabonne ratepayer properties.
“Our council [Cabonne] should know what the hell is going on because we have ratepayers who are concerned,” he said.
“It’s not a difficult task to go and have a look. If you don’t look yourself how can you responsible for it?
“In ten years time if it’s a white elephant they’ll say ‘didn’t you even go and have a look?”