Security has been increased and details provided to Orange Police following a number of malicious attacks on the Orange to Carcoar Pipeline Project.
The attacks have included damage to plant and equipment and have also included small holes being drilled into a stockpile of sewer pipeline. The pipelines were at a number of stockpiles along Forest and Huntley roads. Aside for the holes drilled in the pipelines the damage has included setting fire to machinery and other vandalism. The water pipeline is steel and at this stage no damage has been found.
Orange City Council and the contractor undertaking the project are still investigating but preliminary estimates could put the damage at more than $1 million.
Orange Mayor John Davis OAM said he was shocked by the attacks.
“I’ve been in public life a long-time and in terms of new lows I think this would qualify. It is not too much to say this is a disgusting act,” Cr Davis said.
“The matter is now in the hands of the Canobolas Local Area Command and I would urge anyone who might have seen something or know anything about these attacks to contact the police. I also ask for people to keep an eye out and report suspicious behaviour in the vicinity of the project.”
“The community will ask questions about the motives of those responsible. Whatever their motives they have failed. The project will proceed, it will deliver new services for Spring Hill and Lucknow and at will deliver water security for the region.”
Cr Davis said the damage would be covered by insurance but the excess will run to many thousands of dollars that will be paid for by ratepayers.
“This is infrastructure for the community and if those responsible are from our community then they have fired off a spectacular own goal,” Cr Davis said.
“This is a serious criminal act and my hope is that the culprits will be found and prosecuted.”
Council and the contractor will be pressure testing the poly sewer pipes that have not yet been laid. The sewer lines in the ground were to be tested under normal circumstances. Council will seek to have this pressure testing fast-tracked on the 6.2 kilometres that have already been laid.