Farm fences bulldozed

CONCERNED farmers around Narromine say they are not happy about a number of fences left flattened by bulldozers clearing land for pipework to theTomingley Gold Project.

About four farms have been affected by the work, undertaken by Aqua West Pty Ltd (pump and irrigation specialists) in conjunction with the Tomingley Gold Project and Alkane Resources Ltd.

The fences were flattened as a result of trees that were bulldozed along the fence line.

Resident and farmer Tony Corderoy said Aqua West were still bulldozing at the time of print and there was a great pile of trees and wood where the fence used to be.

"I received a few distressed phone calls from neighbours and I know four farms have been affected in this area. What I'm disappointed about is that there was no consultation with property owners whatsoever," he said.

Mr Corderoy's biggest concern was that his cattle that could get loose and make their way onto the road and get hit, causing an accident in the process.

"I'm very disappointed that we weren't notified of damage to our properties. It would've been courteous of them to let us know.

"I want Aqua West to fix it because there is a lot of wood pushed on the fence because of the 40-foot gum trees.

"It's a very lengthy process to fix and it took a long time to put together. I don't understand why they didn't just use a chainsaw, which would've made a difference.

"Allowing this to happen without warning will cause an accident if cattle get out on to the road," he said.

Mr Corderoy said he contacted Aqua West, who assured him they would fix the fence but didn't respond on when it would happen.

Another resident, Andy Campbell, said it could cost thousands-of-dollars to replace 1.2 kilometres of fence.

Mr Campbell said that a commitment from Aqua West and Alkane to remove the trees as best as possible was simply just not good enough.

"I'm all for the Tomingley mine but there needs to be more community consultation if something like this could happen," he said.

Aqua West manager James Gibson said the company had been contracted by Alkane and assured the Daily Liberal and those residents affected that the fences would be fixed.

"I don't believe there has been good communication between Alkane and those property owners," Mr Gibson said.

"But our project manager on site has been dealing with residents and will help fix the fences as soon as possible."

A spokeswoman from Alkane said a letter-box drop had been done before work had begun.

"The area we've been working on is 25 kilometres long and (we) have identified three places where trees had damaged fences," she said.

"The fences will be repaired in the next few days if not already done so.

"Aqua West stopped work as soon as damage was incurred, and after they reviewed the work methodology, decided that if a tree was close to the fence, the project managers will speak to property owners."

The spokeswoman said Alkane would work to better communicate with residents during any work that was being done in the future.

If property owners had any concerns with the work performed by Alkane they were urged to contact the Tomingley Community Information Line on 02 6865 6116.

anthony.cini@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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