A new dam at Byrrill Creek, south-west of Murwillumbah, has been chosen as the preferred option to augment the Tweed District Water Supply.

The decision was made at last night’s Council meeting following a lengthy study and community consultation process on three shortlisted options to augment the water supply designed to meet the shire’s water needs until 2036.

Council officers had recommended the adoption of the raising of the existing Clarrie Hall at Doon Doon, also south-west of Murwillumbah, which came out as the preferred option through the Water Supply Augmentation Options Study.

The Byrrill Creek option was placed third in the study, with the construction of a pipeline to the South-East Queensland water grid ranking second in the comprehensive study.

With the vote tied at three-all at the council meeting, Mayor of Tweed Councillor Kevin Skinner used his casting vote to opt for Councillor Warren Polglase’s amendment to select the Byrrill Creek dam option.

Councillor Phil Youngblutt also voted for the Byrrill Creek amendment, while Councillors Dot Holdom, Katie Milne and Barry Longland were opposed.

Councillor Joan van Lieshout left the room before the debate and did not take part in voting. She declared a pecuniary interest as the co-owner of property which could be affected if the Byrrill Creek dam construction proceeds.

“I think this was the only decision for the long-term viability of our water supply for the future of the Tweed Shire,” Councillor Skinner said.

“Byrrill Creek and Clarrie Hall were both a concern in environmental terms.”

Councillor Skinner said he had listened to community concerns about using demand management strategies to reduce the Tweed’s need for more water as population increases.

“It’s a shame that demand management strategies can’t achieve everything people would like them too but we need a long-term supply of water and to ensure that, I believe we need a dam,” he said.

“The challenge now is to get approval and I believe it will be a long, hard fight.”

For more information on the three shortlisted options for the augmentation of the Tweed District Water Supply, visit council’s website www.tweed.nsw.gov.au