The controversial and longtime plan to build a new dam in the Tweed Valley resurfaced at a meet the candidates session this week, but none of those contesting the poll appeared to support it.
Echonetdaily understands that none of the 13 Tweed shire election candidates invited to Tuesday’s Tweed chamber of commerce meeting this week, asked if they’d support the dam at Byrrill Creek, put their hand up.
Former Tweed mayor Lynne Beck, a National Party stalwart, quizzed the candidates on whether they’d support the dam, while incumbent council pro-development faction leader Warren Polglase spoke about the need for a dam to secure water supply for the Tweed into the future.
The dam has been a running issue over the past two council elections, with the National Party-aligned faction pushing for it, while the sitting Greens’ mayor Katie Milne and deputy mayor Gary Bagnall, and Barry Longland against it.
Mr Bagnall, who attended the meeting, said the failure by any of the candidates to raise their hands in support was an ‘embarrassment’ for the Nats who expected those they backed to do their bidding on the issue.
But it is unclear if veteran Nats Cr Warren Polglase, a big supporter of the dam, raised his hand.
Comment has been sought from Mr Polglase but was not forthcoming at the time of going to press.
However, Tweed business chamber president and National Party federal candidate Matthew Fraser told Echonetdaily that he ‘wasn’t taking notes but don’t recall Lynne Beck quizzing the candidates on Byrrill Creek Dam but I know that Don Beck did raise the issue in detail’.
‘I do recall Lynne asking candidates to raise their hands about something but can’t recall the topic. It was brushed over pretty quickly and no one was given time or opportunity to raise hand or not,’ Mr Fraser said.
But leader of the progressive Group F, Ron Cooper, said the dam issue was the topic most people at the forum talked about.
Mr Cooper said he didn’t actually see if anyone put their hand up, but it ‘put Polglase on the spot as he’d talked about why we should have a dam not long before that’.
Mr Fraser said the forum drew a ‘huge turnout’ of candidates at the forum- (13 of the 61).
‘A range of views were expressed regarding topics about water security, roads, water activity on the Tweed River and streamlining council processes to encourage business in the Tweed shire,’ he said.