Flooding and the new Labor State Government walking away from the Wyangala Dam wall raising project has delayed, for nearly one year, completion of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment's Draft Lachlan Regional Water Strategy.
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Last month, the department's Director of Water Strategies admitted the document is "just a strategy" for the Lachlan, many parts of which are unfunded.
"A strategy is just a strategy, it's the start of a much bigger process," the Director, Kristanne Anderson, said during a consultation meeting in Cowra on October 19.
The strategy covers the major centres of Cowra, Forbes, Parkes and Young and the smaller centres of Canowindra, other regions.
As part of the consultation process Lachlan region residents are again being asked to have their say on water in the Lachlan
Ms Anderson explained why it hasn't been clear sailing for the finalisation of the strategy which is now expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024 with some of its actions funded and funding "anticipated" for other actions.
"The process that we use to develop a regional water study has a number of milestone points," Ms Anderson said.
"We start out identifying the list of water related regional challenges, we then do a bit of blue-sky thinking and list all options on the table to address those regional challenges.
"That long list of options was first publicly exhibited in late 2020. We then go away and do quite a bit of modelling."
"We're getting fantastic feedback," she said.
"We have got really respectful and engaged stakeholders turning up and we've had some fantastic robust discussions," that Ms Anderson hopes will will lead to a better strategy.
The options, as a result, have been changed, but not significantly.
"The strategy hasn't changed significantly in the last 12 months however there have been a number of changes that we have put in place," Ms Anderson said.
"The strategy does include additional priorities and actions that will address those issues."
As for the NSW Government's decision not to proceed with the Wyangala Dam wall raising.
"The modelling has not changed. However, because that option has been taken off the table there is greater emphasis on the other actions that will address those regional challenges," she said.
"That includes a range of infrastructure and non-infrastructure actions" only some of which are funded.
"Some of the actions are already funded, some of them we anticipate funding to come through soon and others are a longer term and those projects might not be funded yet or fully scoped yet.
"We absolutely want to continue to work with the community," Ms Anderson said.
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