Hillview residents open to more discussion with council about water

FOLLOWING a failed attempt to secure additional water, residents of Hillview Estate are eager to speak to Bathurst Regional Council further about the situation.

At Wednesday night’s council meeting, councillors voted not to supply extra water to Hillview Estate, with some saying it would set a precedent for other villages. 

Their decision supported a recommendation in a report from council’s director of Engineering, Darren Sturgiss. Deputy mayor Bobby Bourke and councillor Ian North voted against it.

During discussion, Cr North said he felt council should speak with Hillview residents again to see if a solution could be found for the reoccurring water issues.

“I think we are going to find this in front of us more regularly, that’s why I raised the issue that maybe we need to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with them again,” he said. 

“People make choices where they live, what services are available, what services aren’t available. In that time there has probably been more people and different people moved into the area and as much as you get letters, until something happens and occurs to you it doesn’t really hit home.”

Hillview Estate resident Brian Bailley said Cr North was “spot on” with his suggestion for more discussion.

“Absolutely that is our goal and what Cr North said is absolutely spot on,” he said.

“We’re going through this situation every three to four years.” 

Mr Bailey said residents are frustrated that there continues to be a comparison between Hillview Estate and other villages, such as Sofala and Hill End. 

“The councillors’ view was that we were like any other village in the area that is running out of water,” he said.

“The difference with Hillview is that we paid a premium price for land, which was a council development, with reticulated water.” 

He asked what council’s response would be to residents closer to the central business district if they were running out of water.

“If their water fails, would the council just say ‘We’ll give you a cut rate at the stand pipes’ and just walk away?”

Council’s position has been based off a resolution from January, 2007, which said “in the event of a failure of the water source for the Hillview water supply” council would augment the supply by a single filling of the reservoirs on one occasion.

From April 9 to 12 this year, council supplied 270,000 litres to the reservoirs.