17 C
Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

No Dunoon Dam: water chief

Latest News

Lismore City Council declares housing emergency, wants more units

A Lismore City Council housing survey had shown more than 60 per cent of residents were living by themselves or with one other person, Cr Ekins said, prompting ‘a real need for smaller housing or units’.

Other News

What’s your opinion on the COVID vax?

Even though the Federal government refuses to take responsibility for the slow rollout of COIVID vaccines across the country you can still have your say on its rollout locally.

Water outage in Ballina this Thursday

Residents on Crane and Owen Streets in Ballina are advised of a planned water outage this Thursday May 13.

‘Endless land releases’ not the solution for Byron’s housing crisis, says Labor mayor hopeful

Northern Rivers-based trade unionist and MBA student Asren Pugh has announced his candidature for Byron Shire Mayor in September’s local government elections on behalf of Country Labor. 

An operetta and children’s theatre for NORPA

NOPRA has announced recipients of the theatre company’s two artist residencies.

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

How full is that glass?

Cr Alan Hunter, Byron Shire Council Council Staff recommend opposing the proposed changes in the Exempt Development provisions to be considered...

[author]Luis Feliu[/author]

Water-saving options, such as reuse and rainwater tank collection, ‘may be the way of the future’, says Ballina mayor and new chair of Rous Water, Phillip Silver.

Silver predicts the controversial Dunoon dam proposal will be shelved in favour of ‘serious demand management and alternative sources’.

He told the Northern Rivers Echo last week that the regional water authority, which supplies the shires of Lismore, Byron and Ballina, had reached ‘a fork in the road’ in terms of future water security.

Cr Silver, a longtime member and leader of the authority, said population across the region had almost doubled in ten years yet water consumption had remained fairly static.

‘So on a per capita or per household basis it has reduced substantially,’ he said.

Cr Silver said the cost of a new dam, precedents preventing their being built in NSW and Queensland, and ‘all indicators point to the alternative to the dam.

‘And we are one of the wettest areas in the country, we should be able to manage without another dam.’

Tweed Greens Cr Katie Milne took Cr Silver’s pitch further, saying the Tweed now has the ‘perfect opportunity’ to stave off the need for any future dams by introducing dual-reticulation options for water reuse in greenfield site developments.

Cr Milne says the Tweed currently has two of the biggest approved subdivisions in Australia at Cobaki and Kings Forest and the dual-reticulation (or three-pipe) system to recycle greywater for toilet and outdoor garden use ‘could and should be mandated’.

Cr Silver said further demand management, dual reticulation of reclaimed water and better use of rainwater tanks, especially in industrial areas, combined with drawing from local waterway flows, allowed the council areas to meet demand expected by foreseeable future population growth.

No-dams option

Last month, a narrow majority of Tweed councillors voted down an option to double current water storage capacity at the existing Clarrie Hall Dam after the contentious Byrrill Creek dam proposal was earlier also narrowly voted down, leaving a no-dams option for council.

The councillors who had supported the Byrrill Creek dam option, Warren Polglase, Phil Youngblutt and Kevin Skinner, had been joined in the blocking move by Cr Joan van Lieshout, who abstained from the Byrrill Creek vote citing a conflict of interest because her family owns land that would be affected.

Cr Dot Holdom accused the four of being ‘gutless’ and ‘holding the shire to ransom’ by stopping any move to secure water supply.

Mayor Longland’s bid to hold a workshop to explore ways of saving water on new developments was also voted down by the same four councillors.

Rous Water, like Tweed Shire Council, has been investigating water supply options for the past few years, a process which has cost ratepayers almost $1 million.

It resulted in a community working group and staff recommendation for the option to raise the walls of the existing Clarrie Hall Dam.

Cr Milne said council could have mandated for dual reticulation in new developments in its own demand management strategy ‘but we didn’t’. However she says council should still keep trying to make water conservation measures compulsory in new developments.

‘We’re losing our one perfect opportunity to do this as these massive new developments [at Cobaki and Kings Forest for 10,000 new homes] are being approved; it’s slipping away on our watch, there won’t be another such opportunity if we don’t.

‘We should be able to negotiate an outcome with [developer] Leda and Bob Ell, so they use a three-pipe system to enable recycled water for toilets and outdoor use at this stage, and it can be improved in later stages of the development,’ she said.

No recycle provision

The Joint Regional Planning Panel recently gave the green light to the first 900-odd homes at Cobaki but made no provision for dual reticulation, which Cr Milne says would negate the need for any new dam.

‘The Tweed caldera is an internationally significant area, and not having dual reticulation further necessitates the need for any dam, which would impact on World Heritage values of the area.’

Cr Holdom said the council’s support for a dam project should be based on science rather than politics.

And she said misinformation was being spread around the shire by councillors who had done little research on the issue, with old council documents showing that in the 1970s councillors chose Clarrie Hall Dam over Byrrill Creek after exhaustive research.

‘Those old documents showed me that the councillors back then were very forward thinking. Unfortunately there is so much misinformation out there now that people won’t know what to think,’ she said.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

How much do you know about koalas?

How well do you know your koala facts? Test your knowledge at the June 2 Koala Hard Quiz in Mullumbimby.

Tweed residents facing rate rise in 2021/2022 financial year

Tweed residents are invited to provide feedback on their council's budget, revenue policy and fees and charges, as Tweed Council prepares to finalise its delivery program and operational plan for the next financial year.

Exotic and hybrid

Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay I was shocked to see the abundant exotic and hybrid plantings at Byron’s new bus interchange. As Byron Council used to have...

Locals call for automatic revocation of speeding fines on Hinterland Way in first half of April

When local man Nathan Hicks saw posts on Facebook about locals who had received fines they believed were incorrect he decided to look into challenging his own fine.