Dungog Shire Council’s general manager has expressed his bitter disappointment with both Hunter Water and the State Government in relation to the media reports surrounding Tillegra Dam land use strategy.
Craig Deasey said from very early on in the Tillegra Dam debacle it was flagged with Hunter Water and State Government that they should have a reverse strategy in place should the dam not proceed.
“And in terms of the State Government I mean both sides of the political sphere were briefed by the then mayor Councillor Glenn Wall and myself as regards the need for a strategy to be developed should the Dam not proceed,” Mr Deasey said.
“Dungog Shire is still in damage control, businesses are still impacted by the level of non-investment and at the end of the day what has the community been left with?”
“The consultant’s brief highlights nearly another year of work to be undertaken by consultants and even then it’s going to take years before this is resolved.
“We also have the other potential Native Dog Creek Dam element to bring into the equation as part of the consideration associated with the lower Hunter water plan.
“And in the interim the community is expected to just continue copping it on the chin.”
A council delegation met with Minister Hazzard late last year to put a case to the NSW Government that the Tillegra Lands should not be considered in isolation and that a Shire-wide rural lands study be undertaken and should be funded by the State Government.
“The Upper Hunter land use strategy has highlighted that there is very little strategic agricultural land within this shire which reinforces council’s call for a shire-wide rural lands strategy,” Mr Deasey said.
“Council has also previously resolved that the State Government should put in place a ‘whole of government taskforce’ in relation to the disposal of lands by Hunter Water.
“At this point in time Council has not had a definitive response to either matter.”
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