Geoff Provest amazed at ICAC allegations.
Geoff Provest amazed at ICAC allegations. Blainey Woodham

Dam it or else, warn farmers

LOCAL farmers have read the riot act to National Party MP for Tweed Geoff Provest over his opposition to the planned Byrrill Creek dam, which they say is needed.

The Combined Tweed Rural Industries Association has written to Mr Provest reminding him that they represent 1100 rural ratepayers and support the dam.

They have told him dam opponents are just anti-development, and the alternative of raising the Clarrie Hall Dam would ruin farmland.

Mr Provest, who previously has voiced his opposition to the council’s plan for the new dam, yesterday said he still favoured raising the wall of the existing Clarrie Hall Dam but retaining the Byrrill Creek site for a potential future dam subject to a government review.

In the letter to Mr Provest Combined Tweed Rural Industries Association president Col Brooks said vocal opposition to the dam had been led by “green activists”.

He said his organisation represented “a significant employment-generating, wealth-producing section of the Tweed Shire” and did not support the actions of the anti-dam group.

“In fact we believe it is imperative that a new water storage is constructed to guarantee water supplies for future generations,” he said.

Mr Brooks added that his association did support making rain- water tanks mandatory, and water recycling through dual reticulation systems in new subdivisions.

However he said, “Water tanks of a size suitable for urban backyards will only make a miniscule difference and they are only good while there is regular rainfall.”

Mr Brooks said if the no dam group was concerned about the environment they should be “collecting seeds and seedlings of the supposed endangered flora so that they can be replanted above the new water levels”.

Mr Provest said he did not feel he had alienated farmers over the issue, pointing out the dam site was not in his electorate but in Lismore MP Thomas George’s area. In his electorate he said the matter did not even come within the “top 20” election issues.

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