Frustration over water extraction reaches boiling point
THE fight to stop a water extraction project isn't over, despite Tweed Shire Council approving the application.
On Thursday the council voted 4:3 in favour of a development application lodged by former NSW Labor Minister Jack Hallam to extract 24 megalitres of water annually from his Rowlands Creek Rd property, near Uki.
For almost two years council has been assessing the controversial application, after the community raised ongoing concerns about road safety and the potential impacts to surrounding aquifers.
Despite the council approval, Tweed Water Alliance spokesman Jeremy Tager said the community would not give up the fight against water extraction.
"The next step is that we will look at litigation," Mr Tager said.
"The reality is that this community is not going to take yes for an answer, whether it's through litigation or it's through non-violent direct action.
"We've got a number of people who have experience from Bentley (Blockade).
"I think this is CSG 2.0.
"You look at the number of people who turned out (to the council meeting on Thursday) and the number of people who are from all over the shire who are so passionate about this.
"They know what the importance of water means.
"How can you get four councillors who don't understand that this is our lifeblood?"
Meanwhile, Labor Cr Reece Byrnes, who used his casting vote in support of the application, has been the main target for Tweed Water Alliance members' frustrations since the application was approved, with many on social media calling on the community to contact him directly.
"It has been clear to us that the ALP, at least in this area, is insisting that this (application) went through," Mr Tager said.
But Cr Byrnes has hit back at suggestions there was a conflict of interest with Mr Hallam's connection to the Labor party.
"We have a council report that says it is sustainable and if we don't support it we are saying 'all our engineers and planning department staff are idiots'," Cr Byrnes said during Thursday's meeting.