New hopes for Byrrill Creek dam
THE abolition of the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water and the reshuffle of its responsibilities has given new hope to supporters of the controversial Byrrill Creek dam proposal, including Tweed Mayor Kevin Skinner.
But the moves, which include shifting the Office of Water to within either the Premier’s Department or the Department of Primary Industries, have alarmed some dam opponents.
They fear it could lead to a review of the previous government’s water-sharing policy, which banned the dam proposed for Byrrill Creek, west of Mt Warning.
Yesterday Cr Skinner said the departmental changes gave him hope the water-sharing plan would be changed and the council would be seeking meetings with the relevant minister or bureaucrats to push the case for this to happen.
“We intended, once things settled down and everyone was put in place, to call a meeting with whoever was responsible for the water-sharing plan and explain our side of it,” he said.
“We certainly didn’t accept the water-sharing plan as gospel. At no stage did they come and talk to us, at least about the land we had spent millions of dollars acquiring.”
Cr Skinner said the council would ask for the plan to be “re-addressed”.
“If they don’t want to change it we’ll be looking for clear and precise reasons and what they want us to do with that land that was acquired many years ago,” he said.
Greens candidate for Tweed in the recent state election Andrea Vickers warned the departmental changes could erase the victory dam opponents had when the water-sharing plan was announced late last year.
“I hope it’s not back to the beginning,” Ms Vickers said.