Tweed mayor backs dam plan

TWEED Shire Mayor Kevin Skinner has announced his support for Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s proposed national dam plan.

The Opposition leader has assigned a team of senior Coalition members to prepare a 12-month dam plan to form part of his $500 million water project.

Cr Skinner said yesterday it was about time someone started looking at the bigger picture.

“Enormous damage has been caused because of a lack of foresight in this country for some time,” he said.

The construction of a 16.3 megalitre dam at Byrrill Creek was banned by the NSW Government last month.

However, Cr Skinner believed Mr Abbott’s announcement provided support to fight the decision.

“With our weather system the way it is, cyclonic weather from the north and a predictable wet season from December to January, it is an extremely obvious statement – just another plus for building a second dam.

“Not only would it assure water for the future, you would have flood prevention.

“If you’ve got two dams, you can release them to half capacity, still have the equivalent of one dam and alleviate some of the problems we have here on the Coast.”

But Byrrill Creek dam opponent Andrea Vickers said both Mr Abbott and Cr Skinner were out of touch.

“Dams are so last century,” Ms Vickers said.

“Water management is complex and needs clever solutions. Building expensive, socially and environmentally damaging dams is not clever.”

Ms Vickers also disputed that dams could prevent flood disasters.

“I would like to see evidence that dams could mitigate floods as Mr Abbott and Cr Skinner claim.”

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