'Come buy our water': push for Orange to supply effluent to Regis Resources

The Macquarie River.
The Macquarie River.

‘COME buy our water’ is the message councillor Kevin Duffy has for Regis Resources, as the Bathurst community voices its opposition to supplying effluent to the proposed McPhillamys Gold Project at Kings Plains.

At Orange City Council’s meeting last week, Cr Duffy said Orange’s effluent should be put on the table.

“We have a pipeline coming from [the Macquarie River] anyway and it could sure do with the dollars,” he said.

“It will create 1800-2000 jobs in 10 years minimum. For the jobs it’s going to create ... this is our chance to step up to the mark.”

Councillor Ron Gander asked whether Cadia Valley Operations used all of Orange’s effluent. Technical services director Chris Devitt said it was about 3000 megalitres a year.

“That’s depending on production, it’s a big proportion of it,” he said.

“We would need to do a detailed analysis of what resources we have.”

They voted to have a report brought back, although councillors Jeff Whitton and Reg Kidd said their support hinged on the condition any agreement would not include potable water.

“And only if we were selling treated effluent to them at the right price and it resulted in income that resulted in infrastructure,” Cr Kidd said.

Cr Duffy’s push came as Charles Sturt University lecturer Margaret Van Heekeren told Bathurst Regional Council only half the $150 million injected into the regional economy during the construction phase would benefit Bathurst because the mine would be closer to Blayney and recent lay-offs at Cadia Valley Operations meant those workers would be most likely to secure the jobs.

Bathurst Regional Council on Wednesday deferred a decision on whether to supply Regis with up to 10 megalitres of effluent a day until Regis prepared an environmental impact statement to support its bid, including modelling of the impact on Macquarie River flows.