Lack of clarity on water situation stalls local investment

Local businessman Chris Deighton has called upon Cobar Shire Council to provide Cobar residents with more information about our water supply.

Local businessman Chris Deighton has called upon Cobar Shire Council to provide the public with more detailed information about what the future holds for our water situation.

Mr Deighton told The Cobar Weekly he has plans to substantially expand his business but said he can’t do that without knowing what’s going to happen to our water supply.

“We need to know a timeframe and the triggers Council is working to, what the actual
‘D Day’ is.

“I’d like to see an actual plan, a foolproof plan, so that everyone is on the same page,” Mr Deighton said.

“If it doesn’t rain and Burrendong Dam doesn’t get any more water, are we going to run out of water in January, May or June?”

He said he wants Council to provide “concrete information” about our water situation so that he knows when he can implement his expansion plan.

“Do we wait for a month or two years?” Mr Deighton said.

He said while the day-to-day running of his Copper City Tyre Service business has not yet been affected by water restrictions, he said tougher restrictions and cuts to the town’s and mines’ annual water allocations will have a detrimental effect on his customer base.

“If the bigger companies—the mines, the council—shut down, obviously more people are going to look for jobs elsewhere, or go elsewhere,” he said.

“It will affect me that way.

“We’re going to invest the money in the business no matter what, but it just doesn’t make sense to do it now when we’re going to have another 12 months of hard times.”

He said while he has had some discussions with council engineering staff and councillors on the town’s water situation, he would like a more detailed plan of what council will do if WaterNSW makes further cuts to the town’s and mines’ water allocations.

“I’ve got nothing I can work to,” Mr Deighton said.

He said collectively Cobar’s small businesses contribute a large amount to our local economy and, along with the council and the mines, Cobar’s small business community also needs to be forewarned of the water situation.

“We just need to know a bit more.

“We can’t rely on “pub talk” which says we should have already run out of water by now,” he said.

“Everyone in the whole town just needs a bit of certainty and that’s even more important now with Endeavor ramping back.

“There’s a lot of money to be made here and a it’s a good place to be.

“I’d just like to know how much money can I invest in the business now or do I need to wait until it rains?” Mr Deighton said.