Government says no to Bathurst's attempt to buy Oberon Dam water

Oberon Dam is at 34.12pc.

Oberon Dam is at 34.12pc.

BATHURST Regional Council has been given a knockback in its attempt to buy water from the one-third-full Oberon Dam.

The NSW Government has told the Bathurst council - which is about to move to extreme water restrictions - that it won't support the purchase of a water allocation from the Oberon Dam and Fish River Scheme.

The Bathurst council was hoping the water would provide an additional source for the city's town supply.


The NSW Government said the water from Oberon Dam and the Fish River scheme is unlikely to have a supply surplus that could be made available and the water will be required to meet the critical supply needs for Oberon Council, Lithgow Council and the Sydney Catchment Authority.

The news comes after Bathurst councillor Jess Jennings attended a two-day water forum in Sydney, where he had hoped to make "a last ditch effort" to lobby Water Minister Melinda Pavey to support the Bathurst council's requests.

Last week, Cr Jennings said it was "disappointing, bordering on tragic news" for the farming community that the water allocation could not be relied upon.

He said Bathurst council's staff had done an excellent job in trying to find solutions, but there wasn't enough political pressure applied to the NSW Government by the current mayor Bobby Bourke and former mayor Graeme Hanger.

Bathurst will move to level four-five extreme water restrictions on October 14.

Oberon, in comparison, is on level two water restrictions but will move to level three when the Oberon Dam level drops to below 25 per cent.

The dam level is now at 34.12pc capacity after a dry winter.

In March 2011, the NSW Government increased Oberon's water supply allocation from 750ML to 1064ML.

Bathurst mayor Cr Bourke, with the assistance of Member for Bathurst Paul Toole, has arranged a meeting with Ms Pavey for further discussions.