SURPLUS REQUIREMENT: Nymboida Weir is infrastructure Essential Energy wants to get rid of.
SURPLUS REQUIREMENT: Nymboida Weir is infrastructure Essential Energy wants to get rid of. Contributed

Glimpse of future for ownership of Valley's water supply

THE fog around the ownership of the region's water supply hasn't cleared, but there have been glimpses of where it might end.

On Tuesday Clarence Valley Council voted to accept a letter from the current owner of the water supply and hydro electricity generating infrastructure at Nymboida, Essential Energy, outlining how it wants to divest itself of the infrastructure.

The letter contains nine 'end points' the council, Essential Energy and the NSW Government need to agree on to leave the council in control of the water supply, wrap up the future of the hydro-electricity plant and provide a future for Nymboida Canoe Centre.

Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson said the council's objective was to secure water supply for the Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour.

And he reiterated the council's opposition to the idea of becoming a power generator by taking on the operation of the power station.

"Our only interest is supply of water to the Coffs/Clarence area," he said. "We do not wish to be lumbered with a power station. We are not in the business of power generation.

"We were once, but that asset was taken off us."

Cr Williamson said there were access issues around nine timber bridges Essential Energy wanted to hand over, which needed to be worked through.

But he was confident the flows down the Goolang Creek would reach the 290 megalitre figure required for the canoe centre to operate its white water canoeing.

Cr Williamson said the complexities of the ownership and the history of the infrastructure would require long negotiations to unravel to the satisfaction of all parties.

The council voted to accept an amendment from Cr Jason Kingsley to receive quarterly updates on the progress of the transfer of assets. Deputy mayor Andrew Baker said the council should be looking to pick any cheap infrastructure Essential Energy was looking to unload.



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