URGENT ACTION: Councillor James Owen said establishing a new water management group would be a waste of money, and efforts should be put to raising Clarrie Hall Dam
URGENT ACTION: Councillor James Owen said establishing a new water management group would be a waste of money, and efforts should be put to raising Clarrie Hall Dam Scott Powick

Owen slams council vote

THE SAME group of people who were part of a water management group 10 years ago will be invited to take part in another by council.

Tweed Shire Councillors voted in favour of inviting the same people who were part of the 2010 Community Working Group, focused on water management, to take part in another group focused on securing the region's water.

The council also voted to elect two of their own councillors to the board - Katie Milne and Pryce Allsop - who were also on the 2010 board.

However not all councillors were in favour of the move. Councillors Allsop, Warren Polglase and James Owen all voted against the motion, with Cr Owen being most critical during Thursday's meeting. Cr Owen told the Tweed Daily News he believed this would be a waste of money to reconvene the same board, while the council should be focused on current projects to improve water security.

"We need to focus on raising Clarrie Hall Dam and ensuring that we can stop salt water intrusions into Bray Park Weir,” Cr Owen said.

"I'm calling on my fellow councillors to stop wasting ratepayers' money and focus on securing Tweed's water supply.”

Cr Owen said the raising of Clarrie Hall Dam would take 10 years, which would put the region on the brink of water security as the population rises.

He said there were better ways to spend ratepayers money for environmental projects.

"Let's not throw $400,000 at something that's already been done just because we didn't like the answers we got in the first place. The same people who did the original review are on this committee,” he said. "Let's put the $400,000 that they want to spend on repeating something that's already been done into renewable energy projects that help the environment and save ratepayers' money.”

Cr Owen said during the council meeting he did not want to waste $400,000 however that figure was disputed.

Cr Milne told the council the cost of funding this group on the ratepayers would be closer to $280,000 based on council estimates.