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Murwillumbah News

Feedback invited on draft Clarrie Hall Dam Water Release Policy

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Feedback invited on draft Clarrie Hall Dam Water Release Policy

Council has drafted a new policy to clarify and formalise Council’s operational practices in relation to water releases from Clarrie Hall Dam.

The Tweed’s main water supply is the Tweed River. Opened in 1983, Clarrie Hall Dam is located on Doon Doon Creek approximately 15 km south-west of Murwillumbah. The dam has a catchment area of 60 km² and holds up to 16,000 megalitres of water. Releases from the dam help keep the Tweed River flowing when water levels are low.

Clarrie Hall Dam was designed for the purposes of water storage for water supply only and it has an uncontrolled spillway. As such, Council cannot regulate or change the flow of water through the spillway, change the Full Supply Level (FSL) of the spillway, or maintain a surcharge above the spillway level.

Council’s Manager Water and Waste Water Operations Brie Jowett said the draft policy aims to explain Council’s operational practices when it comes to water releases from Clarrie Hall Dam.

“Due to its design and purpose, Clarrie Hall Dam cannot be operated to release water ahead of rainfall events to provide any form of storage capacity for flood mitigation purposes,” Mrs Jowett said.

“We know there is some misinformation within the community about water releases for flood mitigation and during floods at Clarrie Hall Dam and we want to clear that up.

“We’ve put the draft policy on exhibition as we want to hear from all Tweed residents – especially those in flood–prone, downstream communities including Uki, Murwillumbah, Condong, Tumbulgum and Chinderah – to make sure they have all the information they need to understand how Council’s water release operations work.

“It’s important our community understands that it’s not possible to use the dam for flood mitigation. There is no capability to regulate or change the flow of water through the dam’s spillway, nor change the full supply level of the spillway.

“We are encouraging everyone to learn more about the dam’s design and how it is operated by reading the policy and let us know how to improve the policy to make it clearer.”

During a flood event, Council continuously monitors the safety of Clarrie Hall Dam and provides information to relevant authorities as per Council’s Dam Safety Emergency Plan.

You can review the draft and share your feedback by completing the online survey or attend the community information session on Wednesday 10 August at Murwillumbah Services Club from 4.30 pm. Registration is essential. For more details and to register visit yoursaytweed.com.au.

Submissions close on 16 August 2022.

 

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Murwillumbah cat adoption centre set to close

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Friends of the Pound
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Murwillumbah cat adoption centre set to close

 

By Sarah Wates

A Murwillumbah cat adoption centre, run by Friends of the Pound (FoP), will close its doors at the end of June.

The animal rehoming organisation is reaching out to the community, urging anyone with the capacity to welcome a cat into their life to consider adopting one.

For the past four years, Friends of the Pound has operated its cat adoption centre on Prospero St in south Murwillumbah.

Friends of the Pound President Sonia Trichter said unfortunately their lease can no longer be renewed as the owners have plans to change the use of the building.

“It will be sad to see the Murwillumbah adoption centre closed,” Ms Trichter said.

“People came there often, and we did adopt a lot of cats there.

“It’ll be hard for the volunteers in Murwillumbah too.

“They love animals, and they need something to do with their time,” she said.

There are currently 16 cats at Murwillumbah which need a home.

They will be relocated to Friends of the Pound’s Tweed Heads adoption centre, which is already housing 20 cats.

To make room for the incoming arrival of cats, the volunteer organisation has had to pay for extra cat enclosures to be made.

Friends of the Pound President Sonia Trichter

Friends of the Pound President Sonia Trichter has been volunteering with the non-for-profit animal rehoming organisation for 15 years.

It is also managing the care of hundreds of kittens, between foster carers and private shelters, until they are ready to find their forever homes.

Ms Trichter said the closure of the Murwillumbah adoption centre wasn’t ideal, especially as it came at a time when pet rescues across the country were overflowing.

“The economic crisis isn’t helping things, especially with the increasing rates of homelessness, which pets are also victims of.

“No one is mentioning anything about what happens to people’s pets if they can’t find housing.”

Friends of the Pound primarily dealt with the rehoming of stray animals prior to covid.

Now, they are also trying to rehome people’s beloved pets or care for them until their owners have found suitable accommodation again.

Recently, a lady who was escaping a domestic violence situation, turned up at Friends of the Pound with seven pets, including four cats, which needed to be looked after while she tried to find alternative accommodation.

Friends of the Pound have been caring for her cats for the past three months.

Ms Trichter said volunteers often heard a lot of sad stories as they tried their best to juggle the influx of animals amidst the challenging social and economic situation.

“We’re only a small volunteer group and we’re full.

“I think we’re all suffering from a bit of burn out, it gets to you after a while.”

Members of the community are encouraged to meet some of the beautiful cat at Friends of the Pound, 29A Prospero Street, Murwillumbah, and help find them a home.

Cat adoption prices are discounted 20 per cent with bedding and toys included for free.

The adoption centre is open from 10am – 3pm Monday to Saturday.

For more information please phone (07) 5524 8590 or email: info@friendsofthepound.com

 

For more Murwillumbah News, click here.

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Tweed Regional Museum to get major lighting upgrade

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Tweed Regional Museum Director Molly Green showing Lismore MP Janelle Saffin around the Omnia: all and everything exhibition.
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Tweed Regional Museum to get major lighting upgrade

 

STATE Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin has welcomed a $140,000 NSW Government grant to upgrade lighting at Murwillumbah’s Tweed Regional Museum in its 20th anniversary year.

Ms Saffin congratulated Museum Director Molly Green on her successful application under the Infrastructure Grants Program, made possible by the Clubgrants Category 3 Fund.

This fund reinvests a contribution from the state’s registered clubs’ gaming machine profits back into community projects.

In a community recognition statement lodged in Parliament last week, Ms Saffin paid tribute to the professionalism and passion of Ms Green, Curator Erika Taylor and their dedicated support staff.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been two decades since three historical societies – Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads and Uki & South Arm – signed a Memorandum of Understanding to amalgamate under Tweed Shire Council’s management,” Ms Saffin said.

“Over that time, the museum has grown exponentially into one of Australia’s leading regional museums.

“Molly Green is blessed by having a 30-strong team of volunteers, known as museum ambassadors.

“Tweed Regional Museum has amassed a collection of more than 100,000 objects housed in the former Tweed Shire Council Chambers, built in 1915, and extended with a contemporary space in 2014.

“While the collection can also be viewed online, it is the high standard of rotating exhibitions for which the museum is renowned.”

Omnia: all and everything is a new major exhibition celebrating the 20-year milestone and will run until 23 November 2024.

Curated to redefine the traditional museum experience, Omnia invites visitors on an immersive journey through the vibrant history, dynamic present and promising future of the Tweed Shire.

 

For more Tweed Shire news, click here.

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Construction of Vital Stormwater Pump Station Commences in Murwillumbah

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State Member for Lismore and NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin MP with, from left, Murwillumbah (Brothers) Leagues Club representative Dave Orr, Tweed Shire Mayor Cr Chris Cherry, Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot MP and Brothers’ Glenn Weaver inspecting construction of the new pump station.
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Construction of Vital Stormwater Pump Station Commences in Murwillumbah

 

In a significant step towards enhancing flood mitigation in Murwillumbah, construction has begun on a new stormwater pump station situated behind the levee at Murwillumbah (Brothers) Leagues Club. This $1.626 million project is a collaborative effort between Tweed Shire Council, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Reconstruction Authority (RA), and the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW).

The new pump station is a key component of several initiatives being implemented in the Tweed Local Government Area under the Northern Rivers Recovery and Resilience Program (NRRRP). This program, funded by the Australian Government, allocates $150 million for flood mitigation and resilience projects across the Northern Rivers region, severely affected by flooding in February and March 2022.

The NRRRP aims to foster long-term resilience, ensuring communities are better equipped to withstand and recover from future disasters. Construction on the pump station began in early May and is expected to take approximately three months to complete, weather permitting. During this period, the levee wall and the dirt track behind the Brothers clubhouse will be inaccessible to the public.

The project includes the installation of two new pumps, each standing approximately two meters tall, capable of moving nearly 1,000 litres of stormwater per second at full speed.

Under the NRRRP, $6.67 million has been allocated for several additional projects, supplemented by $2 million from the RA. These projects include:

  • Wharf Street pump station upgrade
  • Lavender Creek pump station upgrade
  • New pump system within the East Murwillumbah levee
  • Detailed evacuation procedures
  • Alma Street modification
  • Earthworks across Lot 4 on Quarry Road and modification of Condong Creek

Construction activities began on May 9, 2024, with work scheduled from Monday to Friday between 7 am and 6 pm, and occasional Saturday operations from 7 am to 1 pm. Safety measures include site fencing around the construction area and the temporary closure of the levee wall and dirt track behind Brothers Leagues Club. Equipment transport will occasionally utilize the park gate at the end of Murwillumbah Street, which will also serve as a temporary haulage route.

State Member for Lismore and NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin MP with, from left, Murwillumbah (Brothers) Leagues Club representative Dave Orr, Tweed Shire Mayor Cr Chris Cherry, Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot MP and Brothers’ Glenn Weaver inspecting construction of the new pump station.

State Member for Lismore and NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin MP with, from left, Murwillumbah (Brothers) Leagues Club representative Dave Orr, Tweed Shire Mayor Cr Chris Cherry, Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot MP and Brothers’ Glenn Weaver inspecting construction of the new pump station.

Community and Government Leaders Speak on the Project

Justine Elliot, Member for Richmond: “This project exemplifies how government funding can support communities in taking necessary steps to improve flood protection following the devastating 2022 flood events. The NRRRP is delivering real projects in Tweed, ensuring communities like Murwillumbah are better positioned to recover from future severe weather events. I am very pleased to see construction underway with funding support from the NRRRP on this vital stormwater pump, which will boost flood resilience. The Albanese Government is committed to helping the Northern Rivers on the road to recovery and ensuring we are all better prepared for future events.”

Janelle Saffin, Parliamentary Secretary of Disaster Recovery: “This will make a significant difference to the lives and livelihoods of people living and working in Murwillumbah. It represents real action on mitigation measures, so communities are better prepared and able to recover from the devastating impacts of floods. It demonstrates a willingness from all levels of government to get on with the job of increasing community resilience to future disasters.”

Chris Cherry, Mayor of Tweed Shire Council: “This stormwater pump station is a vital component of Council’s flood mitigation strategy for Murwillumbah and aims to reduce the impact of stormwater flooding in the area. The pump station will not eliminate all flooding, but it will reduce the frequency and magnitude of nuisance flooding due to storm events. While we can’t stop flooding from occurring, the pumps will significantly improve drainage of the area following a rain event, helping to reduce the impact of flooding on local residents and Brothers Leagues Club in the future. Thanks to the generous support of NEMA, NSW RA, and DCCEEW, this project represents a significant step towards strengthening our community’s resilience to flooding.”

Clint O’Keefe, Chairman of Murwillumbah Leagues Club: “Flooding has long been a problem for us at Murwillumbah (Brothers) Leagues Club, and we are excited to see work start on building this new pump station. Brothers is an intrinsic part of Murwillumbah life – not only on match days but also as a centre for social gatherings. This pump station means we will be able to resume normal operations much quicker after a major rain event.”

 

For more Murwillumbah News, click here.

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