Next step in dam investigation

NAMBUCCA Shire Council is ready to move to the next stage of investigations into its $54 million off-stream water storage project.

At a general purpose committee meeting on Wednesday, councillors voted 5-2 to adopt the recommendations of the environmental impact statement into the dam, which would be built north-west of Bowraville in the direction of Missabotti.

Mayor Rhonda Hoban said it was important ratepayers realised this was not a final decision about whether or not the dam would be built, but rather the next step in the investigation process.

“This project is like an enormous jigsaw puzzle for which we are collecting all the pieces,” Cr Hoban said.

“This is a major piece because if the EIS had exposed any major environmental issues, then it would have spelt the end. It has instead revealed a number of environmental issues which we accept we will need to control.”

She said the final decision would not be made until all investigations were complete and tenders called.

“Only then will we have a final figure for the project and only then will we make a final decision.”

Cr Anne Smyth, who voted against the decision, said cost was the main reason for her opposition.

“A number of my environmental concerns have been alleviated, but there are still so many unknowns. The evaporation rate worries me – is the dam going to be one of our biggest water users,” Cr Smyth said.

“I understand we need a secure water supply – I just want to be really sure we are getting what we need for a price we can afford.”



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