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Byron Shire
January 23, 2022

The no-dam business case

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There are groups standing for election next Saturday who are composed mainly of high profile business people. Many people believe they will do the best job. Business people certainly have a lot to offer Council, including innovation, a track record of achievement, and motivation to cut excessive red tape.

The election platform of these groups is ‘vote for progress, development, and growth’.

That sounds great. Or does it? Development is often good, but not always. Growth is tricky. One of the Lismore candidates says we are missing out – if only we could be more like the coastal towns.

Hands up, who wants more traffic jams and parking meters? (Well, I guess it could be good for business…)

However, there are large numbers of business people in our fabulous Northern Rivers who are striving for more than those three things. They want to reduce waste. They want to donate some of their profits to the community. They want to help disadvantaged people. They want to communicate with their customers, not ignore them, or block them from their social media pages. They want to reduce their contribution to climate change and create new solutions.

And they also want to make sound economic decisions. Surely councillors also need to be interested in saving our money? Prior to the announcement that CSIRO will be investigating our options, several candidates including Steve Krieg, Patrick Healey, Big Rob, Sharon Cadwallader, Robert Mustow and Sandra Humphrys said they were in favour of the Dunoon Dam option. This is despite the fact that the dam would be the most expensive option for current ratepayers (1), and that Sydney Water added almost 1 million extra customers, without building any new infrastructure, by stopping waste. (2) I’ll be voting for those who will represent us.

Jessica Lowe, Dunoon

(1) ‘Current users will be paying for water that they will never use’: David Tomlinson, Economist and previous Lismore Councillor, www.waternorthernrivers.org/what-the-experts-say

(2) www.echo.net.au/2020/09/serious-system-wide-water-efficiency-or-another-dam

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