Jemena is waiting on a response from Crown Lands regarding its proposal to hand back the Bathurst Gasworks site.
A spokesperson for Jemena said the company submitted a proposal to Crown Lands, with which it has a 20-year lease of the site, with “a range of options” for the future use of the gasworks.
“Jemena confirms it has written to Crown Lands proposing demolition works at the Bathurst Gasworks Site. As part of this proposal, Jemena is willing to pay out the remainder of its lease so that the site can be handed back to Crown Lands and put to an alternative use,” the spokesperson said.
“Jemena has been advised that Crown Lands met to discuss our proposal in late January, however we are yet to receive a response on their future plans for the site.”
The gasworks site came back into the spotlight in late 2016 when concerns were raised by councillor Bobby Bourke over safety.
He took issue with the lack of security around the gasworks, identifying several weaknesses in the fencing that allowed people to gain access to the aging structure.
It was after these concerns were reported in the media that Jemena addressed the fence and later confirmed it was looking to hand the site back to Crown Lands.
Minister for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole said he has yet to see the proposal from Jemena, having only received the portfolio a week ago in a cabinet reshuffle, but said he was happy to work with the company.
“Jemena does have a lease on that particular site. As of recent times, they have replaced some of the fencing around the site itself,” Mr Toole said.
“Bathurst Regional Council is responsible for the remediation of the soil, which I am given to understand has been undertaken.
“If Jemena wants to hand back that site, I would be happy to have that discussion.”
As a resident of Bathurst himself, Mr Toole is well aware of the site and understands the concerns residents and councillors have.
“At the end of the day, it would be great to see some future use of the site given its location,” he said.
The spokesperson for Jemena said the company wants to finalise the matter sooner rather than later.
“As Jemena has no use for the Bathurst Gasworks Site we are keen to work with Crown Lands to finalise this matter as soon as possible,” they said.
Mr Toole was unable to comment on how long it would take for Crown Lands to decide on the proposal.