Securing additional water supply for Bungendore moves a step closer

Published on 09 July 2019

Photo of Bungendore Train Station

The long-standing search for additional sources of drinking water for residential Bungendore has taken a significant step forward with the NSW Government advising Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council of a further groundwater access entitlement.

The possible growth of Bungendore has been put on hold due to the restricted drinking water available for the population. Council’s draft Bungendore Structure Plan, which went on public exhibition today, states that Bungendore’s current water supply entitlement only provides for infill or steady growth. If greenfield developments were to proceed under the current entitlements, Bungendore would potentially exceed its license entitlements in a dry year by 2020 and by 2026 the water treatment plants would potentially reach capacity.

“The search for additional water supply in Bungendore has been a priority of Council for many years and the granting of this additional entitlement is a significant achievement for Council and the Bungendore community,” Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council Mayor, Cr Tim Overall said.

“However, just because a water supply has been located doesn’t mean that we will see a free for all for development in Bungendore. Proposed developments will still be subjected to the same rigour and community engagement as they would be anywhere else in our local government area and the Bungendore Structure Plan will play a big part in this.”

Council has now formally applied for the water access licence and will await final approval from the NSW Government.

Water provision is a key element of the draft Bungendore Structure Plan 2018-2048 which is on public exhibition until 21 August 2019.

“The draft Bungendore Structure Plan has been prepared to ensure that the development of Bungendore occurs in a coordinated and orderly manner and in a direction that reflects the views of the community,” Mayor Tim Overall said.

“The draft document builds on the existing Bungendore Land Use Strategy and Structure Plan which was adopted by Council and endorsed by the NSW Department of Planning in 2010.”

“The plan has been developed in consultation with the relevant NSW Government agencies and we are now seeking the community’s comments.”

The Structure Plan considers three different growth scenarios and considers the implications of these three scenarios (current population is 4,178). The scenarios are:

  • Steady growth rate – 5,000 residents by 2048
  • Medium growth rate – 7,000 residents by 2048
  • High growth rate – 12,000 residents by 2048

The draft Structure Plan also considers road bypasses around Bungendore, a new Council depot, medium density dwellings, group home and an industrial zone outside of the Bungendore urban area.  On the advice of the NSW Government, any reference to specific sites for a proposed high school for Bungendore have been removed from the draft Structure Plan as their investigations have not concluded.

The Structure Plan states “It is stressed that the growth scenarios are not plans of what is going to be developed rather they should be seen as devices used to consider opportunities and challenges if Bungendore was developed. If Bungendore was to grow there would need to be support from the community and government agencies as well as an increase in Council’s water allocation granted by the NSW Government”.

The plan provides a focus for discussion about Bungendore’s future. Feedback on the plan is welcomed. The Bungendore Structure Plan will be open for comment from 9 July-21 August. Go to yourvoice.qprc.nsw.gov.au