Dam debate spills over to owners
By YVONNE McLEAN
GOLD Coast water officers will soon consult with the 32 or so property owners in the immediate vicinity of the Tallebudgera Creek Dam, seeking opinions on the dam's future.
A decision could come down to two alternatives ? upgrade it, or remove it.
Community consultations and displays of the dam will occur from now to the end of March.
A special display showing all aspects of the dam, design options, with consultation staff present, will be at the Tallebudgera Community Hall on Saturday, February 19 amd on Wednesday, March 2.
The concerned residents will be informed by newsletters of times of meetings and open days.
Council's Water Sustainable Committee chairperson, Cr Daphne McDonald, said the upgrading of the dam would include substantial strengthening of the walls and a general improvement of its area.
"One of the problems in council decision making is that the dam is all but completely surrounded by private property.
"How such a situation could occur is beyond me," Cr McDonald said.
"Any work council undertakes depends, to a very big extent, on the opinions of those proximate property owners. "To remove the dam altogether of course would be very disrupting and costly," she said.
Cr Mcdonald said council had already undertaken engineering investigations of the dam and worked out costs of the several options.
One of them was to upgrade the reservoir to a 0ne in 100 Year safety flood level.
Costs for the various options, all with safety in mind, ranged from $1.5 million to $2.3 million. Removing the dam would cost in the vicinity of $3.5 million.
Cr McDonald said she hoped residents would support the dam staying, and with safety measures in place and enhancement of its environment, it would become a really picturesque place to visit for recreation.
A recreation asset for for Talle Valley was how the late Cr Sue Robbins visualised the Tallebudgera Creek Dam of the future, and at the time she won council approval in principle for an enhancement scheme to be considered.
Now, it's up to the dam's community to make a crucial input into the final decision.
The Tallebudgera Creek Dam has long been unused for a water supply.
Its building goes back a long way to the 1940s and the dam's very age creates the problem of what is best to do about it.