Below, copy of a response from Narrabri Chamber of Commerce to ‘Answers sought on Yarrie Lake test bore proposal’, to correspondent Anne Cain, Letters to the Editor, September 3.)

Thank you for your letter regarding the test bore project at Yarrie Lake. Narrabri and District Chamber of Commerce has assisted the Yarrie Lake Flora and Fauna Trust, Wee Waa Chamber of Commerce, Collins Park Lighting Committee, Yarrie Lake Test Bore Working Committee and the wider community raising funds for this project over a number of years.

The communities of Narrabri/Wee Waa have strongly supported the development of a test bore at Yarrie Lake.

Through our close involvement with this project NDCC has accumulated much critical data and information along the way.

Local industries with a high degree of hydrology and geographic expertise have also been generous with their knowledge and time.

With the assistance of generous local community funding, a consulting service was engaged to establish the exact size of the lake and its exact capacity in order to ascertain the amount of water required to cover evaporation etc.

There is very limited genuine data regarding the Great Artesian Bores in the Yarrie Lake area so your questions regarding water quality and quantity etc. are very relevant.

Members of the working group sought the assistance of Santos hydrologists, NSW Water and water drillers both local and out of the area, Impax Group, Narrabri Shire, Crown Lands, Member for Barwon Roy Butler, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall and tourism, to name a few.

* The application is for a “test bore”, so we can establish how much water is there/ water quality/depth and is it free flowing. If the answer to these questions is positive then an independent Environmental Impact Study will be undertaken.

* Earlier studies identify 150 megs as the required amount of water per annum. The lake holds 600megs when at full capacity.

* Advice from hydrologists (NSW Water and Santos) is that water quality is expected to be similar to current irrigation bores in the area. However, independent water testing will be addressed in the EIS.

* GAB top up water will be turned off when not required in a wet season. (If the lake does not require topping up why would you spend the money).

* Experts agree that a test bore must be drilled in order to accurately answer questions on water quality/quantity, before a full licence is considered.

* With bores being capped, studies show the GAB pressure is now rising due to an increase in water level. Top alluvial water is not to be accessed as part of the licence. The construction and integrity of the bore will be of the highest level with the top alluvial aquifers to be cemented off at 200/250m

* Yarrie Lake Flora and Fauna Trust is an elected group of local community members with a brief to act on behalf of Crown Lands and the community to manage Yarrie Lake within the identified guidelines.

It is essential that Crown Lands to be kept in the loop and consulted with every step of the test bore project process.

Crown Lands has very specific guidelines which must be adhered to during the process.

Be assured that there are intervals during the development process where the public and land owners will have ample opportunity for submissions and comment.

Please be clear that Narrabri District Chamber of Commerce is a member of the Yarrie Lake Test Bore Working Committee and is not the sole proponent.

Russell Stewart, President Narrabri and District Chamber of Commerce

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