State pipeline plan referred to Federal Commission
An environmental group is seeking Federal support to try to overturn a State pipeline decision on the Macquarie River.
The Friends of the Macquarie group is considering referring the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to the Federal Government’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). The environmental group believes there may be a conflict of interest in the appointment of the PAC chairman, Ken Forward, who they say is also affiliated with the company hired to conduct costing analyses.
Friends of the Macquarie’s Ken Smith has written to the Premier Barry O'Farrell, Planning Minister Brad Hazzard, Local Government Minister Don Page and Environment Minister Tony Burke, “we've been contacting all these ministers and offices, just to let them know, in our opinion, it is not a neutral process that's gone on," he said, “it's actually been biased towards Orange City Council's favour for actually, quite a while”.
The Planning Assessment Commission has also been notified, saying the costing review undertaken by Evans and Peck (affiliated with Mr Forward) occurred before his appointment and has not continued since.