On Saturday the former Premier of NSW and former Australian Foreign Minister took a walk up Terania Creek, near The Channon.
Mr Carr is now Industry Professor at the Institute for Sustainable Futures UTS (Business and Climate Change). He was accompanied on the walk by a small group including Hugh and Nan Nicholson, Annie Kia of WATER Northern Rivers Alliance, and the Member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin.
Annie Kia said, ‘Yesterday’s walk to the Circle Pool in Terania was both good and sad. Good to walk with champions like Nan and Hugh Nicholson, who, with others, put their bodies on the line to save this extraordinary rainforest.
‘Good to walk with Bob Carr, who last did this walk last in 1986, having created the National Park as Environment Minister in the Wran government. A political leader who understands ecology. Good to walk with our local Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin, who is so very helpful. And to hear ecologist Rob Kooyman describe the Gondwanan lineages that live on in these forests.
‘The sad bit was seeing ancient, majestic giants that burned last year when the unthinkable happened, and fossil-fuelled fire came to the rainforest.’
Bob Carr visits proposed Dunoon Dam site
Yesterday Mr Carr also explored the area threatened by the proposed Dunoon Dam.
On Twitter he said, ‘In the Channon Gorge, crucial part of remaining 1 percent of Big Scrub rainforest. This area set to be demolished for Dunoon Dam is 6 percent of that remaining 1 percent.’
In another tweet Mr Carr said he was, ‘deep in the rainforest of Rocky Creek set to be flooded by Rous Council outside Lismore. Would fit Deputy Premier Barilaro strategy of Net Zero Koalas by 2050.’
On Facebook, the No Dunoon Dam Info group responded by saying, ‘We are very grateful that Bob Carr went into The Channon Gorge today, with Janelle Saffin the Member for Lismore.
‘When Bob heard that Big Scrub Rainforest was threatened, he wanted to come up here to see it. Bob gets the significance of this. When he was Environment Minister in the Wran government, he created the Nightcap National Park in 1983, and soon after walked with Hugh and Nan Nicholson to see the majestic rainforest his government had protected.
‘Yesterday he repeated that walk with Hugh and Nan to the Circle Pool in Terania to see impacts from unprecedented fires due to global warming.
‘Today he came into The Channon Gorge, with Janelle. Warm thanks to both of them for their willingness to see this place first hand, and for their help.’
Time to ReThink Water?
WATER Northern Rivers Alliance is a community organisation representing six community groups.
They recently launched their website, with a statement from representative Simon Clough calling on Rous County Council to rethink water.
‘It’s time for Rous County Council to hit the pause button on its drive to approve construction of the huge Dunoon Dam,’ said Mr Clough.
‘Water security is a critical issue to industry, businesses and households, Australia’s peak water services association explicitly warns that new dams are “high risk investments”. Experts say water security is achieved by having a mix of supply options, including some that don’t need rain, such as purified recycled water, or green-powered desalination.’
Mr Clough said the proposal for a new $240,000,000 dam on the same creek as the existing dam is going down the wrong track.
‘It will make our community vulnerable, not resilient because of the impacts of climate change. We need to heed what the experts are saying.’
According to WATER Northern Rivers Alliance, major concerns about the dam have not changed since 1995 and 2014 when the dam was rejected.
Important Aboriginal heritage would be obliterated by flooding and the dam would destroy approximately 60 hectares of lowland rainforest, comprising 6% of the remaining 1% of the Big Scrub, unable to be replaced by environmental ‘offsets’.
The Alliance has called for Rous County Council to stop the dam and ReThink Water, based on what the Water Services Association of Australia and other experts recommend.
They say there should be public presentations from external experts on innovation in water management and site visits by engineers from Water Sensitive Cities projects such as Warrnambool Roof Water Harvesting.
They have also called for serious investigation of rainfall-independent projects, conducted by experts in these technologies.
‘We are at a crossroads,’ said Mr Clough. ‘We can expect worsening droughts as our climate heats up. We need to create a resilient water system, rather than adding to drought vulnerability with last century’s dam.
‘We are a very creative region. If we have the vision and commitment, we can create a water system fit for the 21st century’, he said.
Mr Clough urged people curious to learn more about alternatives to the Dunoon Dam to find how things got to this point, and why we need to ReThink Water.
More stories about the Dunoon Dam
The proposed Dunoon Dam is still a possibility, though it has been voted against twice by the members of Rous County Council. Now information has emerged which presents another reason to shut down the threat of the dam once and for all.
Since the Dunoon Dam was shelved, Rous County Council has put a new draft of the Future Water Project 2060 on public exhibition. They are currently seeking feedback from people living in the four constituent councils of Richmond Valley,...
Since the Dunoon Dam was shelved, Rous County Council has put a new draft of the Future Water Project 2060 on public exhibition. They are currently seeking feedback from people living in the four constituent councils of Richmond Valley, Byron, Ballina and Lismore.
Since Rous County Council voted to abandon the Dunoon Dam as a potential solution to the future water needs of the Northern Rivers, a new group has emerged called Our Future Northern Rivers.
Ballina's Cr Eoin Johnston is calling for council to invite senior technical representatives of Rous County Council to provide a briefing to Ballina's councillors on the ramifications of using the Alstonville Aquifer as a major source of water supply to the region for the next forty years.
Yesterday's extraordinary meeting of Rous County Council included two more attempts to get the Dunoon Dam back on the table, both of which were defeated, 5 votes to 3.
Yesterday's meeting of the Rous County Council saw the rescission motion go down 5:3 after another passionate debate, but Cr Sharon Cadwallader said she remained determined to keep the Dunoon Dam as an option for the future water supply of the Northern Rivers.