Damned: dam or no dam
TWEED Shire councillors have not escaped the heat over whether to build a new dam at Byrrill Creek despite their decision not to proceed, says a farmer who could be affected by an alternative plan.
Doon Doon resident Ron Duckworth who has a farm on the shore of the existing Clarrie Hall Dam yesterday warned the matter would become a hot issue in the run up to next September's council election.
And he hit back at Tweed mayor Barry Longland who prior to using his casting vote at Tuesday night's council meeting claimed people living around the existing dam would have been aware the option of raising that dam wall would "happen one day".
Councillors voted against the alternative option, leaving a cloud over future planning for water supplies.
"We had no inkling it would be raised in the future because they purchased the Byrrill Creek site," Mr Duckworth said.
He said 27 properties around the dam would be affected if the wall was raised, 22 of them farms,
"How are they going to compensate farmers for loss of income," he asked.
"This will be an election issue, that's for sure. It'll be a hot issue."
"Since 1980 that was always going to be the future dam."
Mr Duckworth suggested the council should further investigate the option of a pipeline connecting the Tweed to south east Queensland's water grid.
During Tuesday's meeting Community and Natural Resources director David Oxenham revealed staff "would still explore" the possibility of a connection to Queensland no matter which option - a dam at Byrrill Creek or raising the Clarrie Hall wall - was favoured by councillors.
The comments came after deputy mayor Phil Youngblutt said a $10million pipeline to the Gold Coast would be needed if the Clarrie Hall Dam wall was raised, because some water would need to be let out of the dam during the construction work.