Fishing columnist fights Macquarie pipeline proposal

A DUBBO-BASED fishing lobbyist has vowed to keep up the fight against the $47 million Macquarie pipeline, despite the Orange project edging closer to final consent.

Matt Hansen contributed to several submissions that were taken into account before the NSW planning department approved the pipeline, subject to 18 pages of draft conditions.

One of those conditions was that Orange City Council would not be able to turn the pumps on until the river’s flows were three times higher than what it had hoped.

Despite the extra protection for the environment, Mr Hansen said he remained 100 per cent opposed to the pipeline.

The keen fisher and president of the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association said there were better options for water security for Dubbo’s neighbouring regional city.

He listed using the Brown Creek aquifer, better management of stormwater harvesting, increasing Suma Park Dam’s capacity and encouraging domestic rainwater collection as preferable alternatives.

Orange council welcomed the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s approval, but will still need to wait for a final go-ahead from the state government’s Planning Assessment Commission and the federal government’s environment department before they can go ahead with the pipeline.

Mr Hansen said he intended to take the opportunity to comment on the list of draft conditions before the proposal goes before the commission.

He also planned to make a trip to Orange to speak at a public forum on May 28.

When asked if he would accept the final umpire’s call if the pipeline gained approval, Mr Hansen said: “I agree with Ian Kiernan, founder of Clean-Up Australia Day, who was quoted in national media and described the Orange pipeline as ‘monstrous and ludicrous”.

In 2010 council technical services director Stewart McLeod said residents would be unaffected by the removal of 1800 megalitres from the Macquarie River down the pipeline to Orange.

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