With the new Rous County Council (RCC) being made up of 6:2 pro-dam councillors there is now a demand for RCC to shelve the current Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy (IWCM) and put the Dunoon Dam (DD) back on the table.
Much has been made of the 10,000 signatures on a petition, which insisted that the DD be reinstated. Some pro-dam councillors have said that they can’t ignore these people. They apparently believe that the 10,000 people (6.6 per cent of the population) should determine water policy for RCC.
But, these same people emphatically ruled out groundwater, recycled water, and desal plants as permanent water sources. Some of these measures are already being used by RCC – and have been for many years.
Does ‘rule by the 10,000’ mean that RCC should immediately pull out the new deep bore that has recently been drilled into the Clarence-Moreton Basin?
Should RCC immediately stop pumping water from the Wilson River (into which Bangalow releases its treated sewage) up to the Nightcap Treatment Plant?
Should RCC be ruled by populist demand? If Rous councillors dictate that RCC should bow to the 10,000 and go with the only option they agree with (the new dam), then it will have to abandon all the other water management options that it has spent the last year developing and implementing.
Rous County Council would be become unworkable. How embarrassing for all of us. Our Northern Rivers community will look like a bunch of backwoods hicks who are stuck in the past and can’t read a scientific report or a cultural heritage impact assessment.