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Byron Shire
December 2, 2023

Go straight to the source on the Future Water Project

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Rous County Council has announced a series of information days to be held this month where the community can ‘drop in’ and find out more about the revised draft Future Water Project 2060.

Seven community information days have been scheduled across the Lismore, Richmond Valley, Ballina and Byron Bay local government areas.

Rous County Council’s Chair Keith Williams said the information days are a great opportunity for residents to talk directly with the project team. ‘A secure drinking water supply is one of the community’s most critical pieces of infrastructure,’ he said.

Rous County Council Chair Keith Williams. Photo David Lowe.

‘Residents need to be fully aware of the water security challenges Rous’ regional supply is facing from population growth and changing climate conditions as well as better understand the new water sources that are needed.

‘The upcoming information days are an important part of the conversation we must continue to have with the many communities that depend on us for their drinking water each day,’ said Mr Williams.

‘Our draft Future Water Project requires as much input and feedback from the community as possible in order to deliver a water supply that meets its needs,’ he said.

Community information days

  • Monday 17 May 2021 – Lismore City Hall
  • Wednesday 19 May 2021 – Casino Community and Cultural Centre
  • Thursday 20 and Friday 21 May 2021 – Rous County Council marquee at the Casino
    PRIMEX Field Days
  • Monday 24 May 2021 – Richmond Room, Ballina Library
  • Tuesday 25 May 2021 – Lennox Community Centre
  • Wednesday 26 May and Thursday 27 May 2021 – Cavanbah Centre in Byron Bay

Each information day will run from 9am until 4pm, with residents able to drop in at any time that suits them. Residents who are unable to make an information day can still contact Rous County Council directly to discuss any questions or concerns with the project team.

GM speaks

Rous County Council’s General Manager Phillip Rudd said it was pleasing to be able to return to face-to-face engagement with the community after a challenging past year.

Revised Future Water Project plan. Rous County Council.

‘COVID-19 has made it very difficult to have the personal engagement with the broader community that is needed with a major initiative like the Future Water Project,’ said Mr Rudd.

‘Unfortunately, our efforts to hold these information days earlier were hampered by the temporary reintroduction of restrictions for Northern Rivers residents at the start of April, right when we commenced our public exhibition period. But the project team has still been able to meet with and present to many community groups over the past month.

‘Based on current public health advice, we’re confident it’s now safe and appropriate to hold these information days,’ he said.

‘Although the timing is not ideal, it’s important we still provide as many opportunities as possible for residents to speak with us face-to-face,’ added Mr Rudd.

The revised draft Future Water Project 2060 is currently on public exhibition until Friday 28 May 2021.

For more information on the Future Water Project 2060 (including how to provide feedback), visit www.rous.nsw.gov.au.

All residents attending the community information days must adhere to COVID-safe practices and guidelines.

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  1. I wonder if these information sessions are going to be biased and tunnel vision or really discuss the widely researched solutions put forward and backed by PR Stuart White who has vast experience in working with various countries experiencing changing climates and water usage?
    I hope the community will not be misled into thinking a dam is going to solve problems while destroying part of the last remaining big Scrub remnant in the process.

  2. Many people say building any water storage dams is harmful to the environment. Yes it will disturb the habitat that currently exists however it is a huge opportunity for us to put in new habitat for the creatures that will need to move. Plants, even trees can be moved to the higher ground, full area of koala tees can be planted, this will encourage our native animals to head to the freshly created safety areas.
    It is always sad to see so many intelligent people looking inward instead of outward. I see the building of dams, which by the way take many years to complete, as our chance to make safe places for our endangered wildlife as well as plants.
    We should be acknowledging that as our communities grow, our need for electricity and water grow as well. I have had the “Put in water tanks” thrown at me by the nay sayers, yet they cannot answer my question that is “Where do I get water when my tanks are dry” – water storage is essential for all of us.
    If we all pulled together and made sure that vulnerable and endangered species are carefully moved to the new higher ground during the building stages we, the community, can nurture these in the same manner we do now. We are helping our selves and our environment at the same time.

    • Marianne, no you cant just move the wildlife from the rare Rainforest on sandstone areas to be inundated , and the ROUS proposals to access roof water vastly expands the water catchment to all developed ares, including Byron and Ballina that presently do not provide any water to the system. The several areas of investigation of accessing ground water also makes the total supply more robust. Flooding rainforest does not help the environment in any way and is a complete nonsense statement.
      Before sabotaging the well thought out ROUS Plan, I’d suggest you read it, and take your blinkers off before you do.

  3. Who’d won’t to be on Rous Council with the debate about water. You have the 2 extremes – no dam versus dam( but no bore water, no recycled water and no to every other source). Keith Williams has done a splendid job trying to identify and explain these issues. Despite the garbage coming out of the critics and those with secret political agendas Keith has not backed down and is still trying to raise difficult discussion. Well done Keith.

  4. Do carbon emissions matter enough to any of these people to actually analyse the relative carbon footprints of each proposed option, including the dam, and present the results to the public to consider as part of the discussion?


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