Tenterfield's water crisis appears to be averted thanks to gushing reports of success in test bore drilling at the site behind the Tenterfield Transport Museum in Francis Street. Water restrictions remain in place, however, at least until the infrastructure's in place.
"It is with much pleasure, as mayor of this wonderful shire, that I'm able to say to the world that we have found water in Tenterfield," a very relieved Peter Petty said.
"Council started the process of planning for this moment well before Christmas 2018. We've been through many, many challenges and even more frustrations along the way, but we got there."
"I'd like to thank the community for their resilience, patience and diligence in working with council to conserve water over the last 12 months.
"We still have a way to go in piping the new water to the dam so water restrictions will remain in place. But we'll review restrictions after the work is finished.
"I'm sure my fellow councillors will join me in shouting wide and far the message that we're open for business."
An equally jubilant chief executive Terry Dodds said in the past 24 hours during testing they've seen 13 litres per second flow from a bore behind the Transport Museum.
"Initial observations show that the production rate will be about 10 litres second," he said. "Best of all the source isn't far from the dam where it will be pumped. This is fantastic news for our community, our economy, and visitors alike."
Anticipating success, council has already started purchasing the necessary equipment such as pumps, pipes and the electronic controls that will pump the water to the dam.
"As mayor, I'd like to thank The Hon Melinda Pavey MP, Minister for Water, Property & Housing, and her dedicated staff, in particular Mr Tom Chesson, for their help," Mr Petty said.
"With support from Janelle Saffin MP, Melinda pushed through amendments to the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 in August that allowed us to cut through months and months of red tape.
"I'd also like to thank the Cross Border Commissioner and Regional Towns Water Supply Coordinator, Mr James McTavish, who has stuck with us the whole way.
"Many government agencies have helped, but I should give a special mention to the staff of the Natural Resources Access Regulator at Dubbo and the Department of Industry - Water, at Coffs Harbour. I'd also like to thank all Council staff who've worked tirelessly to achieve this wonderful result."
Together with less-substantial flows uncovered at the archery site and elsewhere, the bore flows comfortably exceed council's nine litres/second goal.