Rowlands Creek Rd residents attended a public meeting to raise their concerns about a development application to extract 24-megalitres of water per year from their community.
Rowlands Creek Rd residents attended a public meeting to raise their concerns about a development application to extract 24-megalitres of water per year from their community. Aisling

Water extraction DA goes down the drain in Uki

ROWLANDS Creek Rd residents near Uki will be celebrating after a development application to extract water for commercial purposes was withdrawn on Thursday.

Local resident Jack Hallam, a former NSW Labor minister of the 1980s, submitted a DA to council seeking to extract 24-megalitres annually from an existing private bore located on his Rowlands Creek Rd property.

The DA submission stated the water extraction process, for which Mr Hallam already holds a licence for irrigation and industrial purposes, would include up to three 28,500 litre tankers extracting the water for 50 weeks, six days per week, from 7am to 6pm.

But Mr Hallam contacted the Tweed Daily News late Thursday to confirm he had withdrawn the application and would give no further explanation for his reasoning.

"It's been withdrawn and is no longer an issue,” Mr Hallam said.

This is the third DA for water extraction in the Tweed Shire in recent years, and the second in three months to cause public outcry. The decision to withdraw the DA followed a public meeting on Tuesday, attended by Mr Hallam, where residents expressed their opposal to the DA.

Jack Hallam has submitted a development application to extract 24-megalitres of water per year from his Rowlands Creek Rd property.
Jack Hallam submitted a development application to extract 24-megalitres of water per year from his Rowlands Creek Rd property. Aisling Brennan

Rowlands Creek Rd resident Trevor White, who hosted the meeting on his property, said the DA raised several concerns including traffic conditions.

"Given that Rowlands Creek Rd has three precarious bends and one part of the road which is subject to slip after previous rains has already collapsed,” Mr White said.

Mayor Katie Milne said she was relieved to hear the application had been withdrawn.

"It really does have a lot of concern for the community,” Cr Milne said.

"Every community that's been effected is so worried about it. It's not just the water extraction but the truck movements on the road.”

Cr Milne said the cost to ratepayers could be expensive if trucks were allowed to use roads not suitable for large vehicles.

"Those trucks can hurtle up and down our road and there's no process in place to recoup the costs that might be inflicted from the damage by them,” she said.