Council unclear on future water storage options

TEST THE WATERS: All options should be investigated Helen Tickle says, while Russell Webb supports a Dungowan expansion
TEST THE WATERS: All options should be investigated Helen Tickle says, while Russell Webb supports a Dungowan expansion

THE $400 million price tag to expand Dungowan Dam has put the region’s councillors in a spin about future water supply for Tamworth.

Tamworth Regional Council has called on the NSW government to pay for an independent review on its quote for the Dungowan expansion.

However, there was a hint of division in the council chambers when it came to shoring-up the city’s water security post-2035.

We need to pursue all options to ensure the best long-term water security.

Acting Mayor Helen Tickle

Russell Webb put forward the motion calling for a reiew on the Dungowan costings and backed it as preferred option to increase water security.

“There’s great reason we should go to Dungowan, we are going to be catching water from another valley and it does get better rainfall,” he said.

He was supported by Phil Betts who said it had a “higher rainfall catchment” and tapped into “new water”, as opposed to piping a supply from Keepit or Split Rock.

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Acting mayor Helen Tickle said all future water options needed to be investigated.

She said four potential options had been previously identified.

Pipelines from Split Rock or Keepit dams, Dungowan Dam and the Paradise Wells had all been suggested, Cr Tickle said.

“We need to pursue all options to ensure the best long-term water security,” she said.

The acting mayor said there needed to be a feasibility study conducted on all of the possibilities.

“I’m not favouring any, but we have to investigate the four options,” Cr Tickle said.

“Long-term have enough water for 25 years.

“The Dungowan option will add another 22 gigalitres, that’s one-fifth the size of Chaffey Dam, it may or may not be best option.

“Split Rock is four times the size of Chaffey.”

Mark Rodda said he wasn’t surprised by the initial estimate regarding the Dungowan expansion, but supported the call for an independent review.

“The bone of contention for me is nothing seems to be delivered in terms of large infrastructure like this at reasonable to people of this area,” Cr Rodda said.

“Successive state governments have been outsourcing big projects to private operators.”

He said Dungowan Dam was in a better catchment area.

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