Dalton’s water supply will be upgraded thanks to the recent funding announcement by state and federal governments.
A pipeline was originally planned between Gunning and Dalton but due to less than expected funds the village will receive a filtration system instead.
Local Phil Waine said the village’s water was “pretty poor” as it comes from a bore and the minerals make it very hard.
“It’s really, really hard; we go through a kettle every three to six months. A lot of people in Dalton are on tank water because of that, for their domestic supply.”
Mr Waine is among a number of local residents who had concerns power company AGL would need to use the local supply for its proposed gas-fired power plant.
“We’re pretty happy in terms of the fact that AGL won’t be able to tap into that pipeline,” Mr Waine, who is lobbying against the power plant approval, said.
“We were concerned that if they did get access to the pipeline then it could compromise the water security.”
However, with the relief came further concerns for Mr Waine that trucking of water could be back on the agenda for the power plant’s needs.
In AGL’s submissions response, which has recently been accepted by the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure, the company said the preferred option would be to use bore water and the worst case scenario would be trucking in water.
“The ground water testing carried out over the Christmas break successfully demonstrates an available source for the project, and AGL now anticipates the use of on site bores to supply the full operational need of the project,” the report states.
Upper Lachlan Shire Council (ULSC) mayor John Shaw said he was sceptical bores would provide enough water.
“At this stage AGL don’t see that there will be a problem. I guess we can’t argue that there will be one until it happens,” Cr Shaw said.
He told the Canberra Times that council wouldn’t let AGL “run all over” them.
However, power plant objector Chris Morgan questioned council’s involvement over the past year.
“We have already been well and truly ‘run over’. What is ULSC going to do to stop them? The question I would have for the ULSC is what is the increase to our rates going to be?” Mr Morgan asked.
Apart from AGL’s commitment in its submission response to the area’s water security the mayor said council was looking to impose financial conditions on the approval of the plant.
Cr Shaw said AGL’s original offer to pay council $40,000 was a “pretty poor attempt” and they were looking for something closer to one per cent of the $1.5 billion project.
AGL met with the local community on Wednesday night to discuss the submission response report. Pick up future copies of the Tribune for more on the proposed Dalton power plant.