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April 22, 2021

Dams issue set to resurface

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The controversial Byrrill Creek dam proposal and expansion of Clarrie Hall Dam as water supply options are set to resurface in an upcoming review of the shire’s water management.

Tweed residents and organisations are being urged to consider what they think are the key water issues facing the shire in the six-yearly review mandated by the NSW Office of Water, which then guides council in how it prioritises water services in the shire.

The dam options were considered in the past review of Tweed Shire Council’s Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) strategy which councillors later debated and voted on.

But an option to build a new dam at Byrrill Creek, which was narrowly approved under former mayor Kevin Skinner when he used his casting vote, sparked a major public outcry.

However, it was soon abandoned by councillors after his successor Cr Barry Longland also used his casting vote to sink the plan when he took the reins last September.

The option to double the capacity of the Clarrie Hall Dam by raising its wall was also left in limbo when councillors failed to agree at the same time they had voted to abandon the Byrrill Creek dam plan.

Other issues set to be canvassed in the review are population growth, dual reticulation, waterway health and demand management options such as rainwater tanks.

Greens Cr Katie Milne says no dams would be needed if dual reticulation were used in new developments such as Cobaki and Kings Forest, but council also has failed to support that plan.

A population cap to address the issue of securing water supplies for the shire was also mooted by former longtime mayor Max Boyd, but the issue is yet to be debated by councillors, and some are believed to be cold on the idea.

Submissions to the IWCM review close next Tuesday 21 February at 4pm.

The strategy looks at the big picture in managing the Tweed’s water, sewerage and stormwater resources using a long-term and whole-of-catchment approach in a single framework.

Tweed Shire Council’s natural resources director David Oxenham said council was engaging a consultant to complete the review and the community was being asked to suggest issues that should be considered.

Submissions can be sent to council by mail to: The General Manager, Tweed Shire Council, PO Box 816, Murwillumbah 2484, or email to [email protected]

A council spokesperson said a further submission period for the public exhibition of the draft 2012 IWCM review will be announced later this year.



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