Plan in motion to bring back Dunoon Dam project
A RESCISSION motion may put the controversial Dunoon Dam project back on the table to Rous County Council.
The motion would try to revert a decision taken by Rous councillors on Wednesday to "cease all work" and remove the controversial 50GL dam from the long-term water strategy for the Northern Rivers.
Richmond Valley Mayor and Rous councillor Robert Mustow confirmed today he is preparing to submit the motion.
"I can confirm my intent to submit a rescission motion," he said.
Cr Mustow had 24 hours from the original decision to alert Rous County Council of his intention.
He now has an extra 48 hours to submit the document, which also must include the signature and support of two other Rous councillors.
It is expected that fellow Richmond Valley councillor Sandra Humphrys and Ballina Shire Councillor Sharon Cadwallader would also support the rescission motion.
The motion would be discussed at Rous' next meeting, scheduled for February 2021.
Councillors Humphrys, Cadwallader and Mustow were the three people to vote against the idea of removing the dam of the Future Water Plan 2060.
Northern Rivers Water Alliance spokeswoman Annie Kia said the idea of the rescission motion was "regrettable".
"It would be regrettable, it would create such additional anxiety for the traditional owners of that land, the Widjabul Wia-bal people," she said.
"It is so important for them to know that their cultural heritable is safe, including where their ancestor have been laid to rest.
"We have such a great opportunity now to cease the moment and create a resilient water system with a mix of smart water options, including some sources that don't depend on dams."
Whether the Dunoon Dam is in the mix of possibilities or not, Rous County Council may need to schedule an extra meeting in early 2021 to reorganise its priorites and actions for the next couple of years in regards to water security for the area.
Annie Kia said Northern Rivers Water Alliance would be keen on being part of an open discussion on the cost, viability and opportunities with Rous County Council as soon as the dam is not in the list of options.
"We are very keen to engage with people across the region in this, and we have to remember that yesterday Rous made a decision to invest in water efficiency, in smart water meters and substantial investments, and have done a lot of work in the deep aquifer in the Alstonville Plateau, which is not one that has been tapped before," she said