The Tweed’s 30-year-old Clarrie Hall Dam will soon get a $5.5 million flood-safety upgrade after Tweed Shire Council accepted a tender for the works this week.
The upgrade, including a larger spillway, has been requested by the NSW Dam Safety Committee to meet more recent design standards, including the need for it to pass a probable maximum flood (PMF) event.
The works are separate from a longstanding council/community recommended plan for boosting the shire’s water supply by raising the dam’s walls and doubling its capacity, which is yet to be agreed on by councillors.
The issue sparked controversy two years ago when the pro-development bloc on council moved to dam Byrrill Creek instead, leading to widespread protests.
Mayor Barry Longland reversed the decision on assuming the mayoralty in 2011 by using his casting vote, but no option was then left on the table for water-supply augmentation.
Some councillors maintain that both dam options are unnecessary if water-saving and recycling measures are adopted.
Other councillors had preferred the mandatory safety upgrade to be done at the same time as raising the Clarrie Hall Dam wall to save on costs.
Last Thursday, councillors unanimously accepted the $5,400,400.51 tender for the safety upgrade from Entracon Civil Pty Ltd, one of four engineering companies who tendered for the work.
The works include construction of a bigger spillway, an extended and higher parapet wall, new internal access roads and new toilets and picnic areas.
Clarrie Hall Dam is the shire’s main water storage and was built in the early 1980s.