Water dispute proves costly for Gore council

RACHAEL KELLY
Last updated 05:00 04/08/2014

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The Gore District Council has spent $281,961 to resolve an ongoing saga with the Sharp Trust in relation to the Cooper's Wells water bore negotiations.

Information released by the council shows $92,908 has been spent on legal costs, $93,705 on planning, $73,107 on consultants and $22,241 on commissioner fees.

The cost of staff time had not been recorded against the process, the council said.

The dispute between Gore District Council and Gore district councillor and dairy farmer Graham Sharp had been unresolved since 2009 and involved 3.9 hectares of land surrounding the bores, which supply water to Gore township. The bores are on land farmed by Sharp.

Independent hearing commissioners Colin Weatherall and David Pullar decided early last month to prohibit all farming on the land and imposed farming restrictions on a further 13 hectares surrounding the bores.

Both parties have decided not to appeal the decision.

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