Up the creek, paddle won’t help
LIKE a journalist without a pen or a builder without a hammer, the Nymboida Canoe Centre is trying to stay afloat without Goolang Creek.
As dry as a bone, the waterway is relying on more than just another downpour to get it back in action.
Canoe centre manager Rob Delderfield said without the hydro-electric power station, there was no water being pumped into Goolang Creek leaving it completely dry, and while it remained closed, business suffered.
"It's having a huge effect on the town - our business is based on being able to use the creek," Mr Delderfield said.
Concern comes as Essential Energy assesses the possible permanent closure of the power station instead of repairing damages to the pipes.
Mr Delderfield said no matter how much rain fell on Nymboida, without the power station, water would not flow through to Goolang Creek.
"Yes, we're praying for (more) rain, but until the power station is repaired it won't make a difference," Mr Delderfield said.
Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson said he was on Essential Energy's back to get the station back up and running.
"I am calling on them to come up with the funds required and get the station operational again," Cr Williamson said.
He said the creek was vital to the survival of the town for not only locals, but tourists who use it regularly.
"It's clean energy for a start - the station is capable of producing 30 gigaWatts of energy annually," Cr Williamson said.
"The ecosystem in Goolang Creek relies on the discharge of that water from the Nymboida River.
"Then there is the tourism aspect; turning off the water has a devastating effect on the canoe centre plus a number of domestic water users.
"We need to get the power station operational."
Formerly, the Nymboida River would flow to the power station which would discharge water into Goolang Creek. At the moment, the station is closed as it needs repairs done, but Essential Energy is considering whether to close the station altogether rather than spend the money to fix it. No station means no water into the Goolang Creek. No water means tourists cannot use the main creek at the canoe centre.