By CLARE COLLEY
ORANGE mayor John Davis is confident the $18.2 million the state government promised for the Macquarie pipeline is secure, despite Premier Barry O’Farrell’s uncertainty about the funding.
During his visit to Orange on Wednesday, Mr O’Farrell would not say if he supported the project - echoing the words of member for Orange Andrew Gee.
But Cr Davis remained unconcerned by the Premier’s lack of commitment to the $47 million project - despite levelling criticism at Mr Gee last year and calling the then election hopeful a “bloody goose” for sitting “on the sideline” instead of saying whether he was for or against the pipeline.
“I think it’s the correct decision of politicians not to say one way or another because the project should stand up on its merits,” he said.
“I would certainly be concerned if there was no project that the monies would disappear.”
Cr Davis said the long-range weather forecast suggested the state was going into a drier period - cementing the need for the pipeline.
“I’m not cheering for that, but this month so far is 20 per cent under the normal rainfall ... we have to be very mindful,” he said.
Cr Davis had hoped to speak to the Premier about a range of issues including the parking shortage at the Orange Health Service and the 24-hour helicopter retrieval service during his visit to Orange.
While he was only able to speak to Mr O’Farrell for a short time, Cr Davis said the Premier was very praiseworthy of the Orange region, up-to-date and fair.
“We know his time was very limited ... we’re in the process of inviting him back to Orange,” he said.
“We want to open channels in regards to having meetings in Sydney on various subjects.
“It was Ron Finemore’s day and we were just grateful to be on the guest list.”