Nan Nicholson, The Channon
Being a Rous County councillor must be a hard job. The workload of reading reports must be enormous and keeping communities informed must be exhausting. I am convinced that all eight councillors do their utmost to serve their community in the best way they can. Otherwise they wouldn’t be there.
In view of that, I believe the decision on 21 July by five of the eight councillors to keep the Dunoon Dam off the table was exceptionally courageous.
They were faced with a well-funded campaign to gather signatures in favour of more studies on the Dunoon Dam, and the rejection of all permanent water sources apart from dams. These five councillors knew that this was the exact reverse of ‘all options on the table’ and would put their community at risk.
They noted the numerous water authorities who recommend that diverse water option are the only way to secure future water. They noted that not a single report, study or speaker advocated the concentration of water supplies in a single source.
They stuck to their previous no-dam decision because the weight of evidence that had influenced them the first time had not changed.
Moreover, they stood up for the Widjabul Wia-bal people, whose clearly expressed wishes have been so notably excluded from every pro-dam letter, article or speaker.
It is not the job of the councillors to put aside their own carefully considered views and vote in accordance with the views expressed in a petition. Bowing to this kind of pressure would be irresponsible and would lead to decisions being dictated by whoever could fund the biggest campaign.
These councillors have the admiration of many because they did their job – they looked after their community. They knew that they could lose votes in their re-election bids but they followed the accepted science, the water experts and their consciences. For that they deserve our respect.