15.7 C
Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

Bid to lift dam ban fails

Latest News

Assange’s father to beg Biden for son’s freedom

John Shipton, father of detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says he’ll return to the United States to ask President Joe Biden to drop legal action against his son.

Other News

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and Beyond

A huge amount of entertainment all crammed into one space.

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.

Government fails to support dying at home in Northern Rivers

Approaching the subject of dying is always tricky, often awkward, and never easy. But when you are faced with caring for someone at the end of their life, it helps if you can find support from people who have already navigated the path.

Wanted: Bangalow and Byron ‘Induzzy’ reps for town projects

Residents of Bangalow and the Byron Arts and Industry Estate are invited to apply for positions on the Byron Shire Council’s Place Planning Collective

On-farm restaurant’s sustainable vision

Frida’s Field is an on-farm restaurant based in Nashua, just ten minutes from Bangalow. Hosting three long lunches per...

An operetta and children’s theatre for NORPA

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

Luis Feliu

A pre-election bid to lift a 20-year moratorium on building a dam at Byrrill Creek was defeated on Tuesday when Tweed mayor Barry Longland used his casting vote to block it.

Pro-dam councillors Kevin Skinner, Warren Polglase and Phil Youngblutt had lodged the rescission motion to overturn the 15 May decision banning the dam, but the vote was tied 3–3, prompting the mayor to use his casting vote again on the issue.

The deadlock came after Cr Joan van Lieshout abstained for what she called ‘a perceived conflict of interest’ because her family owns land adjoining the dam site.

Cr van Lieshout, who supports a dam as a means of boosting the shire’s future water supply, said she believed she didn’t have a conflict of interest but the community had perceived it.

If the rescission had succeeded in the second last council meeting before the 8 September local-government elections, the contentious dam proposal would have been elevated as the main issue for voters.

Speculation was rife before yesterday’s meeting that the rescission motion had been lodged because the pro-dam councillors believed Cr van Lieshout would finally vote on the issue and support them.

However, if that was the case, they were in for a rude shock.

Cr Kevin Skinner said he was ‘surprised’ and ‘extremely disappointed’ that Cr van Lieshout had left the chamber and ‘chosen not to vote’.

Cr Skinner, who bows out of council at the 8 September local government elections,

claimed a majority of people in the shire favoured building a new dam.

He said the option of raising of the existing Clarrie Hall Dam wall to boost water supply lacked ‘future foresight’.

But Cr Dot Holdom praised Cr van Lieshout for ‘doing the right thing regardless of how she felt about the dam’ and that she should be respected for that ‘especially as her property could be inundated’.

Cr Holdom said the shire had to augment its water supply and the raising of the existing dam wall, favoured by the community working group (CWG) on the issue, was the way to go and would cost around $34 million.

She said she was ‘tired of the uncertainty’ about future water supply with no option in place, and council had ‘abrogated its responsibility’ on the issue by not moving on the recommendation by the CWG.

‘The reality is we can’t afford the Byrrill Creek dam at this point in time,’ she said, referring to the cost of around double the Clarrie Hall Dam option.

Cr Katie Milne slammed Cr Skinner’s claim that a majority favoured a new dam, saying that was the ‘same wording’ he and others used to back the controversial world motor rally that ran in the Tweed in 2009.

Cr Milne said she felt further investigations of water-saving measures should first be tried as there was no need for either of the dam options.

In one of his first moves as mayor, Cr Longland used his casting vote last October to overturn the decision by his predecessor, Cr Skinner and pro-dam councillors to forge ahead with planning for the Byrrill Creek dam, replacing it with the 20-year ban.

But a motion to raise the wall at Clarrie Hall Dam was also lost, leaving the Tweed with no plan for future water supply.

* During the first week of August, Echonetdaily will run comprehensive coverage of the upcoming local government elections.


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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Commendable action, Mayor Longland, and those Councillors whose vote demonstrated a responsible attitude towards the environment and your constituents. The moratorium was set in place for a reason. Many thanks for honouring the existing moratorium.

  2. It hasn’t gone un-noticed the push in some circles to revert to the Byril Ck Dam option.
    In 2 other local newspapers and I use that word loosely in this case, an identical letter to the Ed appeared last week championing the building of a new Dam.
    The authors motives have to be questioned as he is a long term player in the Real Estate game .
    New Dam = Unlimited Development = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    How dumb do these fools take us for.
    Come September dont waste ya vote pilgrims, the cowboys are circlin.
    Keep Tweed Unique and the whingers who dont like it can head north and join the rat race.

  3. Excellent outcome- now all we need is to put some real options on the table and get serious/about water saving strategies.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Linnaeus Estate DA raises residents concerns

Community concern over the current development application (DA: 10.2021.170.1) for Linnaeus Estate in Broken Head has led to detailed analysis of the DA.

Echo turns 35 and You are invited!

This year The Echo turns 35, and to celebrate this momentous anniversary they are putting on The Echo Community Awards – and everyone is invited!

Comparissons

Gareth Smith, Byron Bay Trade Minister Dan Tehan wants to refer China to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because he deems its imposition of tariffs...

‘Natural’ cruelty

Richard Swinton, Clunes While I agree with Desmond Bellamy’s concerns about animal cruelty, the issue of ‘natural’ cruelty if the kangaroo population explodes has to...