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Byron Shire
March 30, 2023

Water strategy

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Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads

The people of Mullumbimby would be aware that Byron Shire Council (BSC) intends to hand over the supply of Mullumbimby’s water to Rous County Council (Rous).

The agenda supplied to the Water, Waste & Sewer Advisory Committee (WWSAC) for the meeting held on 29/04/2021 is available for reading on the BSC website.

It reads: Mullumbimby Future Water Strategy, Report 4.2.

Recommendation 2. ‘Allow Council to consider the preferred strategic direction of staff to facilitate the start of detailed works’.

Again someone needs to ask what strategy this is, as none is mentioned.

The handing over of the supply of the Mullumbimby town water to Rous has been mentioned of late, is this the strategy? Laverty’s Water Treatment Plant (LGWTP) raises around $500,000 per annum, which goes to BSC. Why would you even consider giving this dividend away? And what amount of money will BSC be required to spend to enable Rous to take over the town water supply, and what becomes of LGWTP?

We have consultants advising BSC’s supposedly highly experienced and qualified staff on this issue and others. One firm, EDS, a consulting firm, is advising W&R on the inflow infiltration problem. 

You would actually think BSC’s senior management would be asking why, when the contractor advised the WWSAC in February 2021 that they had completed the work in Mullumbimby and were moving to Byron Bay to begin work there. The problem being that in the first serious rain event Mullumbimby received after this date the inflow to Brunswick Valley went from 1.4 megalitres per day to 11,000 megalitres per day, also available on the BSC’s website.

This is becoming a very expensive never ending story that, under this current W&R management, seems to be unsolvable.

Next will be the closure of Ocean Shores Waste Water Treatment Plant at a substantial cost – the problem being that the plant is working fine.

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