Blayney changes key system on bores

The bore next to the Blayney golf course.
The bore next to the Blayney golf course.

During the darkest days of the drought the sight of vehicles carrying water tanks for stock and domestic use was a common one.

Some of those tanks though may not have belonged to Blayney shire residents, even though the water within them came from shire bores.

Reports of keys being cut and shared to unlock the bores has led council to not only introduce keys that cannot be cut, but also a more stringent key deposit regime, and a new fee.

Access to a bore will cost $150 for a refundable key deposit and a $120 access fee for the water. The access fee is non-refundable.

Councillor David Somervaille said that council had spent a lot of money refurbishing the bores and had received a lot of criticism about being fairly lax on who had access.

"There was a lot of evidence of people lending their keys to people outside the shire and a lot of residents were complaining about that," he said.

Cr Somervaille, who is also chairman of Central Tablelands Water, said that the $120 charge for the water was half that paid by CTW customers, whether the CTW customers used the water or not.

"CTW customers pay an access charge of $240 every year if they're connected to the water, even if they don't use a drop so I don't think that it's unfair for the villagers of Neville and Newbridge to pay $120 for water," he said.

"If there are residents out there that are struggling to pay that, those should be handled on a one-by-one basis through council's hardship policy. It's not a reason to not apply the fees at all."