BOTH sides of the Macquarie pipeline debate will be presented at a public meeting hosted by the Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (ECCO) next week.
The meeting follows on from the launch of the Orange and Region Water Security Alliance position paper earlier this week and will also outline data from a hydrology report by Geolyse released by Orange City Council earlier this month.
Representatives from council, Geolyse, the council’s environmental advisory group, and the alliance will speak at the meeting and the public will also be able to ask questions.
ECCO’s acting-president Nick King said the meeting is an opportunity for the council and the water alliance to engage with the public.
“ECCO has never had a problem with consultation from council,” he said.
“We’ve worked with council since our inception five years ago.”
With the alliance presenting the position of over eight individual groups, Mr King said it was inevitable there would be some differences in opinion.
The alliance’s Paul Wettin agreed but said all the groups had one thing in common.
“We all share the conviction that there is a better solution,” he said.
He said alternative sources of water for Orange as presented in the position paper, including reducing the amount of waste water used by Cadia Valley Operations and increased stormwater harvesting, should be investigated further by the council.
“Summer Hill Creekcare are part of the alliance and we’re quite cognisant ... they have objections to further stormwater harvesting,” he said.
“[But] small volumes of waste water were used as environmental flows in the past and they were quite happy.”
He said the 15 per cent of waste water the paper suggests should be taken back from the mine was only an example.
Mr Wettin said he did not expect the meeting to get heated despite the public’s conflicting views of the pipeline.
“I’m certainly not turning up to have an argument,” he said.
“I’ll listen intently to what the council and the council’s consultants have to say.”
The public meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Wednesday, May 30 at the Environmental Learning Facility at the Orange Showground.