Kyogle also on hit list of dam sites

By Alex Easton

POTENTIAL dam and weir sites are shown at Grevillia, Wiangaree, Tabulam and Urbenville on maps attached to a Federally funded report that proposes piping water from NSW to Queensland.

Debate over the report has focused on plans to dam the Clarence or Tweed rivers and pipe water to Queensland, but it also considers taking water from other parts of the region. Apart from the Clarence and Tweed rivers, the report looks at the potential of drawing water from the Richmond, Wilsons, and Brunswick River catchments.

In the Richmond catchment, the study looks specifically at flow volumes of Byron Creek at Binna Burra and the Wilsons River at Eltham. However, the two villages are not included in the maps, despite Eltham's flow being greater than Tooloom Creek, near Urbenville, where a dam is proposed.

The National Water Commission report, which is available at www.nwc.gov.au/publications/index.cfm, lists the Wilsons River at Eltham having an annual flow of 177,000 million litres, compared to an annual flow of only 73,000 million litres at Tooloom Creek.

The report says a dam at Grevillia could hold about 50,000 million litres, but would be able to supply only 10,000 to 15,000 million litres per year to Queensland. It hints Binna Burra and Eltham could supply more, but says the population level in the area pointed to 'considerable resumption issues'.

Kyogle Mayor Ernie Bennett, who faces four possible dams or weirs in his council area, said he had no objection to new dams, but needed to know exactly where they would be and what measures would be taken to compensate property owners.

However, Cr Bennett had no interest in sharing water with Queensland, which he said had not planned properly for population growth and was still expanding even as its dams ran dry.

"When industry approaches them, the commonsense thing to do is tell them to ring Ernie Bennett and send them down here," he said. "There's more than one way to deal with this."



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