HANDS OFF: Roy Vary stands on the edge of the Clarence River, which runs beside his Tabulam property. DAVID NIELSEN
HANDS OFF: Roy Vary stands on the edge of the Clarence River, which runs beside his Tabulam property. DAVID NIELSEN

Damn Qld, we?ll look after ourselves, says Bonalbo

By Helen Jack

ROY VARY has doubts a dam on the Clarence River near Bonalbo would catch enough water to fill itself, let alone help alleviate drought conditions in South-East Queensland. The Northern Star toured through the Bonalbo region yesterday to find out if local residents there were heading to the hills to get away from the proposed dam. The dam on the Clarence near Bonalbo is just one of nine proposed for the Far North Coast in a scheme that would pipe NSW water into parched parts of Brisbane and South-East Queensland. But locals aren't convinced. "It's silly," Roy said. "They look at Grafton and see the big river there, but it's a tidal river." Roy said the last decent flood experience they had was in 1976. "There was a cloud burst further north and a wall of water came down the river and wiped out all the trees on the river banks," Roy said. "So you see, when it rains in Queensland it rains down here. "I can't see a benefit in damming the Clarence here; there are no hills or cliffs to support a dam wall. "And if they did it would just create an enormous flood plain. "All this area would go under and so many people from Queensland come to the river to camp; it's beautiful here." Camping on the edge of the river with his family, Ipswich resident Rod Plant said his area was experiencing Level 5 water restrictions. "We've been on Level 4 restrictions for 12 months, but I think Queensland should look after itself," he said. "There should be enough in our State." Rod said he wondered why they did not dam the North Coast regions of Queensland instead and pipe the water south. "It's so beautiful here and there are not many places left where you can come camping beside a river," he said.



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