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.