Three pro-dam councillors have announced a rescission motion to be discussed at the next Rous County Council meeting, seeking to overturn the recent decision to abandon the Dunoon Dam.
Crs Sharon Cadwallader, Robert Mustow and Sandra Humphrys have lodged the motion, which relates to the disposal of council-owned land in the dam area.
If the land is sold, it would be difficult if not impossible for the dam option to be re-opened again in future.
View from Lismore
Lismore’s Rous Cr Darlene Cook told Echonetdaily, ‘The rescission motion in part reads: a) Provide a report on the orderly exit from Dunoon Dam as an option in the Future Water Project. b) Commence work on the exit strategy once the long-term viability of Scenario 1 Groundwater has been confirmed…’
She said, ‘We already know that the groundwater strategy will only supply our needs for around 8-9 years; this timeframe gave Rous the window it needed to get the dam assessed and constructed.
‘It is not a long term viable option without other supply sources coming online.
‘If we delay the exit strategy and hold on to the lands at Dunoon – we leave our community, the environment and the Elders with a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads,’ said Cr Cook.
‘Does anyone really believe that the results of any ecological or cultural heritage assessments in the future would give a different answer than we have heard recently?’
Lismore Cr Vanessa Ekins said she had not yet seen any formal wording for the motion, or received any ‘official communication from Rous on this matter,’ so as far as she’s concerned, ‘the decision on Dunoon Dam stands.’
For the rescission motion to succeed, it would require the support of Chair Keith Williams, and/or the support of two other councillors.
Chair Williams told Echonetdaily this morning, ‘The rescission was lodged within days of the meeting. The focus of the motion is mostly on what to do with the site.
‘I think that decisions about the site are going to require a long process involving many parties, but particularly the traditional custodians of the area. Having already made a clear decision I won’t be supporting the motion,’ he said.
Byron Crs Basil Cameron and Simon Richardson have not yet commented on the rescission motion.
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.