Opponents of damming Byrrill Creek Janaki, Menkit Prince, Robyn Hoopman and Ali Leonard at one of the area’s beauty spots yesterday.
Opponents of damming Byrrill Creek Janaki, Menkit Prince, Robyn Hoopman and Ali Leonard at one of the area’s beauty spots yesterday. Blainey Woodham

Dam could affect 71 rare species

OPPONENTS of plans for a massive new dam at Byrrill Creek, west of Mt Warning, have begun preparing their case against the project arguing 71 threatened species could be affected.

Even though they are hopeful both the NSW and Federal governments will quash the dam project they are leaving no stone unturned to prove the environmental value of Byrrill Creek.

Among the species they say could be severely affected are the Albert’s lyrebird – the same as the two featured on Tweed

Shire’s Council’s official crest where they hold up an emblem depicting Captain Cook’s boat the Endeavour.

They have been backed by Uki-based expert ecologist Dr Stephen Phillips, who worked for Rally Australia identifying threatened species during the event that went through areas including Byrrill Creek last year.

Dr Phillips said yesterday 45 threatened animal species and 26 threatened plants would be affected by the dam.

They include the golden tipped bat, the pouched frog, giant barred frog and various plants that only occur in the “lowland sub-tropical” areas which would be flooded, leaving them with “nowhere else to go”

Tweed mayor Kevin Skinner has twice used his casting vote to push ahead with planning for the Byrrill Creek Dam despite council staff preferring the option of raising the wall of the existing Clarrie Hall Dam – which would also flood areas of forest and farms.

A campaigner against either dam proposal Menkit Prince said yesterday a “No Dam” meeting in Uki hall last Saturday heard a range of environmental arguments against a new dam which they hope will be blocked by the Federal Government in the same way it stopped the Queensland Government’s plans for a dam at the Traveston Crossing on the Mary River near Gympie.

“We know that Traveston Dam was rejected on the grounds of nationally endangered species,” Ms Prince said.

“Since Byrrill Creek has more nationally endangered species and a higher conservation riparian value than Mary River, that means there is an extremely high likelihood that Tweed Council is wasting ratepayers’ money in a futile attempt to dam what cannot and should not be dammed.

“There are sustainable water management options for new housing developments that would save the shire millions of dollars to say nothing of the lives of threatened species and potential for ecotourism.

“If Singapore and the UK can support thriving populations without dams why can’t we? Our biodiversity and natural beauty are our greatest asset and are irreplaceable.”

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