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Byron Shire
January 23, 2022

Evidence-based claims on Dunoon Dam

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Why is it that all I hear from the pro-dammers is: ‘Save Our Dam’, ‘Build the dam’ or some similar three-word slogan? I have never seen any documentation or evidence to back up the assertions that a second dam on Rocky Creek might provide water security or flood mitigation.

Conversely, if you check out the WATER Northern Rivers website you will find scientific papers, video clips of water experts and solid evidence to back up the need for multiple water sources to supply sustainable water supplies to the four LGAs in the Rous County Council area.

Hugh Nicholson, The Channon

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    • Nothing like an open mind eh Dennis? Let me guess, you’re from Ballina? I see you’re not interested in current information. Or facts. And totally ignorant of the exploits and expertise of Mr Nicholson. He doesn’t say much but it’s worth listening to….Not mocking. The is no way to debate an issue.

      Famous economist Paul Samuelson and conservative UK PM Winston Churchill were both quoted as saying “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?” Like several other you’re stuck in the ideas of 50 years ago. And even then, they weren’t the best or only ideas.

      • the ideas of 50 years ago? the oldest dam still in use today was built in 1300 bc by egyptians do you think a desal plant or more bores tapping deeper into the aquifer recycling water & pulling water from a sick river is going to stand the test of time and not add more environmental pressures to the existing environment? Rocky creek dam has been a great asset to the community for close to 70 years and has assured the protection of the surrounding catchment area
        some ideas no matter how old are still sound and true and in my opinon the dam is the least destructive option to the environment in the long term.

        as for the nicholsons i think the are just standing up for themseves they live close to the proposed dam site i live on dunoon road not ballina its a case of nimbiys they would rather trash other parts of the north coast than see a dam that has been planned for for more than 50 years be built.

  1. I think Denis was being tongue in cheek? I’ve seen plenty of webpages about dam building and water resilience- mostly news media- that all point to dams being inadequate for water security in our current world’s conditions. It’s hard to imagine them being inadequate to the task, we all have dams in rural areas. But we won’t be flushing rainwater down the toilet by 2060, so the time to start the new tech is now 🙂

  2. There are positives and negatives with ANY development or NON-development.

    I for one think there needs to more investigation of the dam option, a CSIRO study would be a good idea, to consider the option more comprehensively based on science not emotions, there is clearly not enough information yet to make a well informed decision.

    Both for and against the dam are portrayed as polar opposites in the media and this tends to be the case as the media portrays a divided community or extreme views on most issues, rather than a middle ground perspective that most people have. Most people writing in letters also tend to be the extreme ends of the spectrum.

    In terms of a science based approach, I think the anti-dam protestors are extremely negative and don’t even want to think about positive outcomes that can be achieved.

    The Rocky Creek Dam regeneration project has been an amazing project that has regenerated hectares of subtropical rainforest, the site was previously covered in weeds and paddocks (you would never know now looking at the site). The new dam can provide wealth and resources to undertake a even larger regeneration project in the catchment of the new dam. In terms of the long-term benefits, the protestors are always 100% negative; why are they always focusing and magnifying the negative aspects and not considering the longer term positive outcomes that can result from a large project?

    If you keep being negative, the project will be negative, why not try to make things positive by encouraging good development not no development!

    We have historically degraded our landscape, but it has huge potential to regenerate, but we need positive development to do large scale regeneration, too many people see the negative sides, we do not live in a pristine landscape, and we need to be proactive rather than just let things be.

    • Can you please explain ‘why not try to make things positive’ to the Indigenous folk whose ancestors will be 20 metres underwater?
      Just on this one point, ON THIS ONE POINT ALONE, BE HONEST – how would you feel if the cemetery at Dunoon was going to be included in the dam?

      • yes that is a negative impact, as part of the overall scientific consideration that needs to be fully weighted and analysed under a proper investigation

        Can you admit that there may be some positive outcomes as well that need to be weighed up just as there are negative outcomes ?

        I am not FOR / AGAINST the dam, I am for scientific analysis and proper discussion, as are most people in the shire who are quiet on the matter, who are sick of emotion filled claims from the polar opposite sides who get all the attention.

        • I can’t believe you said “as part of the overall scientific consideration that needs to be fully weighted and analysed under a proper investigation”
          Forget science – what if that were YOUR mob going to be underwater?
          How is science going to weigh the culture of Indigenous people? In DOLLARS?
          How is science going to decide that the needs of some people are of more value than the needs of other people?
          Which of course is code for “what white fellas wants they gets!”
          (and by the way, the Aboriginal people were actually here first)
          Your comment actually makes no sense
          – unless of course, you are suggesting that science might decide that one possible avenue of getting future water is more important than thousands of years of cultural history and just once more brick on the colonisation wall.


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