Nambucca to revisit dam proposal

THE Nambucca Council is to revisit its decision to support an off-stream storage dam at Bowraville to meet the shire’s future water needs.

Councillor Brian Finlayson told last week’s meeting he was becoming increasingly disenchanted with the off-stream option.

“I know it was the option that was adopted after investigations of various sites in 2007 but I am very worried that an off-stream dam will be a huge water consumer due to evaporative loss, maintenance and pumping to maintain environmental flows,” Cr Finlayson said.

“It will cost between $50 and $55 million dollars, and will be council’s biggest ever capital expenditure, so I want to make sure we get this decision right.”

Cr Finlayson said an on-stream dam will cost significantly less, around $25 to $35 million, and would require less maintenance.

He did concede, however, there would be significant costs in pumping water from an on-stream dam to the Bowraville borefield.

Cr Anne Smyth said she couldn’t support spending another $8000 on further studies when the council’s budget was already very tight.

The council voted to commission a report on the geological suitability of on-stream sites at Upper Buckrabendinni and at the confluence of Gravely Creek and the Nambucca River west of Bowraville.

Cr Paula Flack excused herself from the debate after declaring a pecuniary interest because the Gravely Creek option would result in the flooding of properties, including her own, within the Upper North Arm community.

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