Greens MP joins Byrrill dam fight
THE fight to stop council plans for a huge new dam at Byrrill Creek west of Mount Warning has been bolstered by the State Government decision on the weekend to stop a new dam in the Hunter Valley.
Dam opponents yesterday were encouraged by Premier Kristina Keneally’s decision to rule out plans for any further dams in the Newcastle region and instead look at other options such as water restrictions and stormwater harvesting.
They were also encouraged by NSW Greens Party upper house MP Ian Cohen, who joined the battle to stop the proposed Byrrill Creek Dam by calling on the Government in Parliament last week to maintain prohibition of a new dam flagged in a draft water plan.
Dam opponent Joanna Gardner said opposition to the Byrrill Creek Dam proposal, pushed through Tweed Shire Council on the casting vote of Mayor Kevin Skinner, was “heating up” locally and on a parliamentary level.
“Local petitions against the Byrrill Creek dam over the past three weeks have had an overwhelming response of support, letters aplenty have flowed in to politicians, and a choir of 30 people sang at the proposed dam site No Dam No Way, a Paul Joseph song which will be released on YouTube soon,” Ms Gardner said.
In Parliament last week Mr Cohen called on the Government to “maintain the prohibition on construction of a new dam at Byrrill Creek” outlined in the draft water-sharing plan.
He said the dam’s location would be in “an area of high-conservation value with environmentally significant flora and fauna and “where there are a number of important Aboriginal sites which would be inundated or impacted on by construction of the dam”.
His motion to the Upper House also pointed out that the dam “would lead to the inundation of 400 hectares of land and a portion of the Mebbin National Park”.
It said the local community was “vehemently opposed to the construction of a new dam” and there were “other options to increase water capture and reduce water use for household and commercial properties”.