Wagga City Council's highly-anticipated Lake Albert fix has been delayed again because of a continuing disagreement with NSW government bureaucrats.
A draft agreement proposing a permanent solution to the lake's low water levels has twice been delayed because council and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment have been unable to agree on a contentious clause in the agreement.
The draft plan was meant to be sent to NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey by the end of February, a deadline that council was originally confident it could meet.
Ms Pavey has instructed council to work with the DPIE to come up with a way to solve the lake's longstanding water issues.
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On Wednesday, council general manager Peter Thompson he was continuing to negotiate "a number of terms" in the draft agreement with the DPIE.
"Council and DPIE have communicated every day this week and council forwarded the current version of council's preferred terms to DPIE this afternoon."
Negotiations between the two parties continue, but a DPIE spokeswoman said advice would be provided to Ms Pavey "within the week", with any areas of contention "highlighted for the Ministers consideration".
Mr Thompson announced on March 9 that the February deadline had been missed, explaining the two parties had disagreed on one one particular clause that he said the DPIE had asked him not to identify.
He said at the time he wouldn't back down on the contested clause but was hopeful council and the DPIE could find a resolution.
In response, the DPIE said it was negotiating an agreement "in good faith" and that "advice, with a draft agreement" would be provided to the minister by the end of last week.
Council's preferred solution would see Wagga receive an annual credit for the 5000 megalitres of treated effluent it returns to the Murrumbidgee and use that credit to pump an additional 2000 megalitres of water into Lake Albert when required.
Mr Thompson was among council staff to meet with Ms Pavey in early February to discuss the proposal, after community frustration over the lake reached breaking point.
He has previously said the council sought advice from a prominent QC that the NSW government would not create an unworkable precedent by giving the council credit for effluent currently released into the Murrumbidgee River.