WHEN planning department bureaucrats start reading through submissions on Orange’s proposed pipeline they should think long and hard when they get to the objections posed by Bathurst MP Paul Toole and his Nationals colleague Troy Grant from Dubbo.
To say these local members who represent electorates upstream and downstream of Orange have applied double standards to the issue is being kind.
If the credibility of the submissions was based on the water conservation credentials of the two major cities they represent they would be given very little, if any weight.
During much of the decade-long drought which brought home to Orange City Council the need to secure the city’s water supply these two cities were flagrant wasters of water.
While Orange tightened and tightened water restrictions Bathurst and Dubbo allowed their residents to water lawns and gardens almost unrestricted.
And where did that water come from? The Macquarie River or its upstream catchment.
As Mr Grant would or should know, much of Dubbo’s water supply is pumped directly out of the Macquarie River.
To complain about the potential impact of Orange’s plan on river flow when Dubbo engages in the water practices it has is ridiculous.
As member for Orange Andrew Gee said yesterday, Mr Toole’s objections also do not stand up to serious scrutiny.
Does Mr Toole really need to be reminded that there is piping of water in the headwaters of the Macquarie River now and it is flows into the Macquarie River catchment and the damming of the river which gives Bathurst its water security. Bad luck for those down stream.
No MP or council with vision would not support a long-term plan to build another dam in the region for the benefit of all.
In the medium term however there must be an end to councils and MPs jealously trying to hold on to a resource which must be managed for all or control will be taken out of local hands.