ALTHOUGH the critical needs list process has been frustrating, councillors can take some comfort in the fact that local member Paul Toole has been in Bathurst Regional Council's corner.
General manager David Sherley recently told councillors that "the local member is really out there actively lobbying for us" as council tries to get water security projects fast-tracked.
As a former mayor, Mr Toole understands the important role Bathurst council plays in the region when it comes to water and did what he could to get council's projects recognised on the list.
"There is no doubt water security is a number one priority across the area. Bathurst Regional Council is the water authority and are responsible for water here in the local area," he said.
"The critical needs water bill was actually legislated to assist councils in fast-tracking projects for their local communities. This is only a temporary measure, but also sees the processes involved dealt with more quickly.
"I've been able to lobby the minister and the various departments to get council on the critical needs water list. Council is now going through their due diligence of providing information for some of the projects they are considering."
While the bill is designed to cut away some of the red tape at a time when fast action is needed to secure water supplies, it doesn't eliminate the need to do various studies relating to projects.
Council is working on those now and, as pointed out in the Engineering Services director's latest water security update, a lot has already been achieved.
Mr Toole said he and the NSW Government are continuing to work with council during this time, and noted the government had already provided council with financial support of just under $15 million for water projects.
"I'll continue to lobby to support the council, but they also need to be considering their long-term vision for water security across the region, as they are the water authority who collect the rates every year of water users in the area," he said.