Against a new dam: Councillor Dot Holdom.
Against a new dam: Councillor Dot Holdom.

Dam wall the best option: Holdom

TWEED Councillor Dot Holdom says she knows her decision to favour raising the wall of the Clarrie Hall dam will affect some people's livelihoods but wants to clearly explain her reasons for voting against a new dam at Byrrill Creek.

Cr Holdom says if the council does not raise the Clarrie Hall dam wall to 70 metres and goes with the smaller Byrrill Creek dam it will get the same “secure yield” of water supply as raising the dam wall, but at a far higher cost. And although that might still sound feasible, estimates show the “secure yield” from the new dam would be dramatically reduced by government rules requiring maintenance of an 80 per cent environmental flow into Byrrill Creek.

The same would apply to the option of a larger dam at Byrrill Creek.

“The five to six million dollars spent on investigating the smaller Byrrill Creek dam does not guarantee us that the smaller Byrrill Creek dam would get up after all of the due process we would go through,” she added.

Cr Holdom said she was concerned six to nine years could be wasted pursuing Byrrill Creek dam during which time new rules might make it harder to raise the wall of the Clarrie Hall dam.

“Yes, there are social, environmental and Aboriginal impacts with the Clarrie Hall dam option,” she said. “However the cumulative impacts ... for either option at Byrrill Creek far outweigh the option to raise the wall at Clarrie Hall dam.”

Cr Holdom wanted to stress that the Byrrill Creek dam has the “highest flora and fauna impacts”.

An error in Saturday's Tweed Daily News wrongly indicated that the Clarrie Hall dam would affect the most threatened species.

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