Lismore MP Thomas George.
Lismore MP Thomas George.

Tough battle for George

THE battle to stop the proposed Byrrill Creek Dam is by no means over.

That's the warning from dam opponents, including Greens candidates in last weekend's state election, Tweed Shire Deputy Mayor Barry Longland and Cr Dot Holdom.

Susan Stock, the Greens party candidate for the Lismore electorate that includes Murwillumbah and the site of the proposed dam west of Mt Warning, has rejected claims by re-elected Nationals MP Thomas George that the election was a referendum on the dam proposal.

Ms Stock said that although Mr George won the seat with 60.5 per cent of the vote, the polling booths of Kunghur and Uki, which are the closest to the proposed dam, voted overwhelmingly for The Greens, not the Nationals.

Mr George has accepted a majority of Uki district residents were anti-dam but said he still improved his vote in the area.

He has claimed Murwillumbah residents “made it clear” they want necessary infrastructure, and if that includes a dam he “will take it forward.”

Cr Longland, who voted against the council's plan for a dam at Byrrill Creek, also rejected Mr George's claims, saying the fight against the dam was not finished and the election was not a referendum on the issue.

“There were a lot of issues involved in the state election,” Cr Longland said.

He hoped any briefing on the planned Byrrill Creek dam given to Mr George by council staff or by Mayor Kevin Skinner should include other information given in the advice from the staff to councillors on various water options.

“There was a lot of information and a lot of data went into the decision of what was recommended,” Cr Longland said.

“The option to raise the Clarrie Hall Dam wall will provide for the water needs of our expanding population well into the future, probably beyond 2050.”

Cr Holdom vowed “absolutely” to continue her opposition to the dam, saying “there's sound economic reasons why it's not viable at this point in time”.

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