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
As two professional engineers, each with over 40 years of experience in the water industry, we support Rous County Council’s decision to start tapping into underground water resources to meet the growing water supply needs of our region.
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The Council elections are coming in December and the issue of water security has become a key issue for Ballina Shire Councillors as Mayoral candidates Cr Sharon Cadwallader and Cr Keith Williams. Both Ballina councillors are representatives on the Rous...
Cr Cadwallader's second version of the motion came with an extra suggestion referring directly to the dumped option of a new hinterland dam in Dunoon.
Cr Cadwallader has taken advantage of a local government rule allowing councillors to reintroduce a failed motion without having to wait three months if they have the signed support of at least two other councillors.