During the darkest days of the drought the sight of vehicles carrying water tanks for stock and domestic use was a common one.
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Some of those tanks though may not have belonged to Blayney shire residents, even though the water within them came from shire bores.
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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.
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"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."
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