Janelle Saffin calls for measures to ease pressure on Tenterfield water supply

Emergency measures needed to fix water supply: Saffin

Janelle Saffin is calling for emergency measures to ease pressure on Tenterfield Shire's water supply.

But Ms Saffin urged the Natural Resources Access Regulator to overturn its May 9 refusal of council's application to pump water from the dormant Apex Park Bore for stock use.


"As Cr Petty points out, Tenterfield is different in that many residents have livestock on small acreage paddocks and currently use potable water inside the town reticulation system for stock use," Ms Saffin said.

"It's estimated that accessing Apex Park Bore could equate to a saving of 2 or 3 per cent of water used from the mains supply and this is needed because if there is no winter rainfall, water shortages could be even more critical come October."

Council is pushing at the highest level to fast-track an alternative water supply.

Council is pushing at the highest level to fast-track an alternative water supply.

Ms Saffin met with Cross Border Commissioner and Regional Town Water Supply co-ordinator James McTavish in Sydney this week and they had a wide ranging discussion about the drought crisis affecting the Northern Tablelands.

"Commissioner McTavish is the right person for such a challenging role and understands well the needs of local communities such as Tenterfield," she said.

"He will be in Tenterfield on Tuesday for a water summit to discuss a funding mechanism for emergency bore explorations, fast-tracked approval pathways and a timeline for delivery.

"So many residents have contacted me in desperation about water shortages but with a range of creative ideas and these should hopefully feed into an ongoing conversation post-summit."

Ms Saffin said she also raised with Commissioner McTavish long-standing cross-border issues of concern to many in Tenterfield Shire and felt confident that there were no real legal impediments to resolving them.

"The big one is getting ambulances to transport patients to the nearest hospital for stabilisation and treatment in the shortest time possible. It just takes the will to make some common sense changes," she said.