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Byron Shire
January 18, 2022

Dunoon Dam from a Rocky Creek perspective

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R Musgrave, Rocky Creek

Here’s a simple question about the proposed new Dunoon Dam and some local observations from a long-time resident living beside Rocky Creek, Dunoon.

What responsible local water authority would risk placing TWO dams on the same creek, less than 20kms apart? Isn’t that putting all their ‘water-resource’ eggs in one basket when weather patterns are becoming so fickle? Those recommending the construction of a new Dunoon Dam should extend their research. Visit the current Rocky Creek Dam, view the spillway and check the amount of water in Rocky Creek below. Observe it at the low road-crossing into the National Park on Gibbergunyah Range Road. Rocky Creek is definitely a creek, not a river.

The proposed dam is also situated on Rocky Creek. Water flow in Rocky Creek is dependent on water from the Rocky Creek Dam spillway. That occurs during cyclonic weather, because general rainfall does not fill the dam ie, not full – no overflow. A new Dunoon dDam just a short distance downstream from the current one would soon be titled ‘Lake Will-it-Fill’, and come at huge financial and environmental cost.

Since the exceptionally severe drought of 2019 broke, Rocky Creek has not received the rainfalls predicted by the BOM. Since the beginning of 2020 higher rainfalls have drenched the Tweed and then around Kyogle, often leaving Rocky Creek in a pocket receiving showers. Maybe the weather pattern has already changed? As a farmer, weather observations are essential.

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