The catchment and buffer zones of a Proposed Dunoon Dam as they will be discussed by Rous County Council.
The catchment and buffer zones of a Proposed Dunoon Dam as they will be discussed by Rous County Council.

What in damnation?! Residents speak out over Dunoon Dam

LOCAL residents have voiced serious concerns over Rous County Council's plans to introduce a new Dunoon dam.

The Rous Council currently has a new dam downstream from Rocky Creek Dam, listed as an option in its Future Water Project 2060, on exhibition until August 12, but some locals are against the concept.

Nan Nicholson said one species with only one ecological community, named 'rainforests on sandstone', would be severely affected by the construction of the dam.

"It hasn't been nominated yet, so it's not formally an endangered ecological community, but it is very rare. It's called rainforests on sandstone, (it is) particularly gorgeous, extraordinarily beautiful … I personally can't think of any other example of it in this region."

Ms Nicholson said that another pressing concern was the dam's impact on indigenous land.

"So it's not just a matter of a site with some rocks. You can't move a rock somewhere else, and think it will mean the same. It's the whole place that's important."

"I think they (the indigenous community) haven't been consulted adequately on this particular issue."

In a letter to The Northern Star, Leandra Martiniello expressed grave concerns for the land.

"Given that the proposed site will flood Widjabal culturally significant sites and artefacts, including burial grounds, I see no way in which this dam can go ahead."

Ms Martiniello said the creation of the dam violated Richmond River Water Sharing Plan.

"I have also noticed that under the one of the clear objectives is to "protect, preserve, maintain and enhance the Aboriginal, cultural and heritage values of these water sources". The creation of the dam at Dunoon would directly contradict this objective."

Speaking previously to The Northern Star, Rous County Council indicated the dam was one of many options being considered in the project.

"There is going to be a body of work that has a visualisation that shows each of the options, but also gives the community an understanding of some of the challenges associated with each of the options that we are investigating, particularly geographical terrain and the distance between where the water is and where our residents live," the council's general manager Phillip Rudd said.

Rous County Council have been contacted for further comment.