News

Boyd doubts water security

Max Boyd at home in Bethongabel. Photo: John Gass / Daily New
Max Boyd at home in Bethongabel. Photo: John Gass / Daily New John Gass

A FORMER Tweed mayor has said that councillors had "not acted" the way they should to secure the Tweed's water supply in the future.

Max Boyd said after more than 40 years involved in the council he could not help but follow the issues and he was not happy with what had happened.

Earlier this month the council voted for a 20-year moratorium on the Byrrill Creek Dam issue. 

An amendment to put rising the Clarrie Hall Dam wall back in the agenda was also defeated.

This left the Tweed without a strategy to increase water supply levels.

"They (councillors) are not acting in the way council should do," Mr Boyd said.

"They are elected to make the hard decisions, not the easy ones.

"Building a dam is a long and tedious exercise."

He said the council's officers and a committee set up to secure Tweed's water supply in to the future had "done their homework well and truly".

"I'm mystified… having done so much work with a committee who worked long and hard together with the staff," he said.

Mr Boyd said it was through the foresight of a few people that helped to proceed with the Clarrie Hall Dam in the 70s and early 80s.

He said it was the threat of Murwillumbah almost running out of water in the 70s that lead to the NSW Department of Public Works to identify Doon Doon Creek (Clarrie Hall Dam) and Byrrill Creek as potential sites for dams.

"The raising of the Clarrie Hall Dam is the only reasonable and sensible way to go," he said.

Tweed mayor Barry Longland agreed with Mr Boyd that the council needed to make the tough decisions on water.

"We paid a whole lot of money for these studies to be done," Cr Longland said.

"We have people in the Tweed who just want Byrrill Creek Dam, then we have the Greens who don't want the dam at all."

Mr Longland said the various opinions of councillors had stalled any move to secure water supplies.

Greens Councillor Katie Milne was unavailable for comment on Cr Longland's claims.

In a previous statement about the Byrrill Creek Dam, Cr Milne said other councillors misinterpreted her motives.

"I said quite clearly that I would support the Clarrie Hall dam if it came down to it, but that council reports, so far, have not yet convinced me that either dam is necessary," Cr Milne said in a statement.

"I also pointed out that council is actually in process of commissioning an independent review so surely we should wait for that.   

"My concern is that there was no analysis in the council reports on whether it's possible to avoid dam building, or if we could achieve this with the major new developments." 

Topics:  water security



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