The backdoor push for the Byrrill Creek dam is the ultimate betrayal for our Tweed shire.
This commits the ratepayers to the most expensive option and is contrary to professional expert advice to raise Clarrie Hall dam as the preferred option, but services the pro-developer councillors with the dinosaur and develop at any cost mentality.
New dams have no longer been built at the rate they once were as we have moved into the 21st century and now have the knowledge of the impacts of dams on the ecology and ecosystems of our rivers.
Government policies are now in place that recognise water is a key natural resource, vital for the health and survival of our native flora and fauna. It is essential for basic human needs and agricultural production, as well as for recreational and aesthetic purposes.
The natural attributes of the Tweed are our greatest assets and a key driver of the Tweed economy.
The Byrrill Creek dam site is in the very same landscape of our World Heritage areas and National Parks and at a glance and prior to formal studies the site is host to 67 threatened species, 24 of which are Matters of National Environmental Significance. The site also includes significant registered cultural sites.
The Byrrill Creek dam would significantly impact wildlife corridors and biodiversity connectivity.
The Tweed River system is a relatively small system and to put a second dam just 6.2km from the existing Clarrie Hall dam will put substantial hydrological and environmental stress on the lower reaches of the Tweed River system.
Preliminary geology studies found the Byrrill Creek site has some severe geological problems and high leakage conditions.
In recent years the Traveston dam, Nathan dam and the dam in the Hunter failed final approvals with multi millions of dollars squandered despite early sound and scientific advice they were unviable but were ignored.
The issues of the Byrrill Creek dam are greater than these dams and the potential for multi millions of ratepayer dollars squandered and legal challenges is likely to happen with a high degree of certainty.
Lindy Smith, Tweed Heads