Tweed Shire Council say that the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed raising of Clarrie Hall Dam has met a milestone with completion last week of the cultural heritage excavations.
Consultant Eco Logical Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) worked with the project’s Registered Aboriginal Parties over the past nine weeks to complete the excavations of 19 Potential Archaeological Deposits.
Soil from the excavations was sieved to isolate and collect Aboriginal artefacts. General searches of the areas around the dig sites were also completed.
The findings from the excavations will help in the development of an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan for the project.
The 19 sites are part of a range of archaeological sites that would be inundated or partially inundated when the dam wall is raised 8.5 metres to double the dam’s footprint and treble its capacity.
Meanwhile, ELA sub-consultant Coffey Australia is assessing how best to engage with the community to complete the Social Impact Assessment for the project in line with COVID-19 restrictions.
Council says relevant stakeholders, including resident, industry and environment groups, should expect to be contacted directly by Coffey Australia this month.
The EIS is expected to be completed by February 2021 and will go on exhibition for public comment around March 2021. Then, ELA will meet with the community to help explain the document for those who want to make submissions. At this stage, due to COVID-19, it is not known what format these meetings will take.
Anyone interested in making a submission on the EIS should register to ‘Stay Informed’ at www.yoursaytweed.com.au/RaisingClarrieHall. This will enable Council to email you directly when the EIS goes on public exhibition and when the meetings are scheduled.
Council has received funding under the NSW Government’s Safe and Secure Water Program to undertake the EIS to raise the dam.