Submissions, Tenders and Public Exhibition documents can be viewed here.

Flood restoration work: Browns Creek floodway

Rous County Council will be completing necessary repairs to the damaged temporary levee wall in front of Singhs Tyre and Mechanical in Keen Street, Lismore. Work is on-going and is expected to be completed by 22 February 2019.

The work involves the breaking up of concrete and the installation of alternative permanent fixtures to support the temporary levee system.

If you require further information, please contact Rous County Council on 6623 3800 during office hours.

Mains break at Howards Grass

Update 1 (3.40pm): RCC operators are on site at a water main break at Howards Grass. RCC customers in the area may experience low pressure or no water. Work is expected to be finished within 6 hours.

Dog owners reminded that Rocky Creek Dam Rainforest and Water Reserve is an on-leash area for dogs

Council has had several reports of dogs being off-leash at the Rocky Creek Dam Rainforest and Water Reserve. The Reserve is a popular area for the whole community and it is important that all users respect the rules that are in place, particularly the requirement for dogs to be on-leash at all times.

Additional signage has been put in place throughout the Park to ensure dog owners are aware of their responsibility. Council encourages dog owners to ensure they leash their dogs at all times to preserve their access to this special place.    

Rous County Councillors appointed to new NSW-wide water advisory group

Two Rous County councillors are set to play an important role in helping shape the future direction for the delivery of water supply services to regional communities throughout NSW.

Richmond Valley Mayor Robert Mustow and Ballina Shire Councillor Sharon Cadwallader were recently appointed to Local Government NSW newly created Local Water Utility Policy Advisory Group.

Only 10 elected representatives from council owned and operated water utilities across NSW were appointed to the Advisory Group. Its main aims are to:

  • Increase the level of engagement with key government, industry and other stakeholders, particularly in relation to water supply issues affecting regional communities
  • Ensure Local Government NSW can provide a coordinated sector-wide response to emerging issues and trends on behalf of council-run water utilities
  • Enable local government to present a unified direction on the strategic objectives and other policy issues related to local water utilities

As members of Rous County Council’s governing body, Councillors Mustow and Cadwallader are responsible for overseeing the provision of quality and reliable bulk water supply services to over 100,000 people across four local government areas in the Northern Rivers region.

Given their strong commitment to managing the region’s vital water supply resources, both councillors’ experience and skills will undoubtedly help the new Advisory Group to strongly advocate for council owned and operated water utilities and the many regional communities that depend on them.

Rous County Council’s governing body is made up of eight councillors, with two nominated from each of its constituent councils (Ballina Shire, Byron Shire, Lismore City and Richmond Valley).


Annual water science competition for high school students

Young scientists and water savers - start experimenting!

Save water in a new way and you could win a trip to Stockholm.

The annual international water science competition is on again. High school students are encouraged to come up with a water challenge, run some experiments and find an innovative solution.

The Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize, run by the Australian Water Association and supported by Xylem, aims to come up with new and innovative solutions for the world’s water challenges.

The Australian prize winner will receive travel and accommodation to Ozwater'19 in Melbourne to attend the National Water Awards Gala Dinner AND a trip to Stockholm in August 2019 to compete in the international Stockholm Junior Water Prize during World Water Week!

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is the world’s most prestigious youth award given to a high school student for water research. Over 30 countries compete in the international final.

Entries are open until 14 December so make the most of Term 4, think big and take a fresh look at local and global water problems. How can you solve the water problem?

More information, guidelines and nomination form can be found here.


Council adopts a new Operational Plan - a snap-shot of upcoming activities for 2018/19

As part of its Integrated Planning and Reporting obligations, Council annually reviews its Operational Plan. The 2018/19 financial year marks ‘Year 2' of Council’s current 4 year Delivery Program and important projects are in the pipeline. Some highlights are outlined below:

Capital works and future-proofing – After completing a number of pipeline relocations as a result of the Pacific Highway upgrade, Council is focusing on implementing its Capital Works Plan with the St. Helena to Brunswick Heads pipeline to be completed this financial year.  Council is also continuing its extended groundwater investigations, drilling test bores in various locations, as part of Council’s Future Water Strategy.

Floodgate management – Council continues to develop appropriate plans/protocols for Council’s critical infrastructure sites as part of its commitments under the Coastal Zone Management Plan for the Richmond River Estuary.

Review of retail water fees and charges – assessment of the current fee structure for retail water services which are directly connected to the trunk main system. Any recommendations made as a result of the review will be considered by Council as part of the draft 2019/20 Operational Plan/Delivery Program.

Compliance and Enforcement Framework – development of a framework to ensure an effective, risk-based and consistent approach to compliance and enforcement activities, starting with weed biosecurity.

Nurturing leadership potential – ‘The Leader in Me’ – piloting a development program to cultivate leaders at all levels of the business.  Participants will be challenged via learning experiences which include coaching, workshops and mentoring. This will ensure Council thrives into the future by encouraging a leadership culture.

Council’s full suite of Integrated Planning and Reporting documents are available here.


Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategy

21 September 2018

Rous County Council (RCC) engaged 100% Renewables to develop a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) abatement strategy for its operations’ carbon footprint. This is the first such strategy developed by RCC, and it follows an Environmental Management System that was established by RCC several years ago.

The development of a GHG Strategy for RCC is in keeping with action on climate by RCC’s constituent councils, including the setting of ambitious goals such as 100% renewable energy and net zero carbon targets adopted by Lismore City Council and Byron Shire Council respectively.

The full report can be viewed here.

Media Statement - 9 August 2018

Please click here to read the Media Statement titled 'With NSW drought declared residents are encouraged to be water wise'.

Maintenance works planned for Emigrant Creek Dam

30 July 2018

Maintenance works on the Emigrant Creek Dam anchorage system has been successfully completed.

The dam's storage will be allowed to refill from rainfall within the catchment whilst maintaining normal environmental flow releases. The dam's current level is close to 45% capacity.

Council would like to show its appreciation to the community for their patience whilst these important works were carried out.

Celebrating green innovation in schools

31 May 2018

Students were the stars of the day as politicians, industry leaders, scientists and educators gathered at Trinity Catholic College to award the first annual Green Innovation Awards on May 31. Instigating the awards, Goonellabah Chiropractor Dr Bridie Cullinane’s focus was to recognise the work of primary and high school students in creating a better future and inspiring innovation.

Judges with relevant industry experience, Kylie Bott of Rous County Council, Cindy Picton of Dorroughby Environment Education Centre, Paul Milgate of Catholic Schools Office and Dr Kathryn Taffs of Southern Cross University, thoroughly assessed the students’ presentation and ideas. The judges asked the tough questions and awarded the winners based on improving and progressing current practices of sustainability as well as changing behaviors and mindsets to environmental issues.

The primary school winners were Empire Vale Public School who received a $300 cheque and perpetual trophy sponsored by Goonellabah Chiropractic Centre. Their innovative idea was to create an ethanol-based biofuel from sugar cane to run a lawnmower. And it doesn’t stop there, with the students now progressing their vision to run cane trucks on sugar-based biofuel in the coming years.

Secondary school winners, Lismore’s Trinity Catholic College, were awarded a $300 cheque and trophy sponsored by Rous County Council. Their sustainable CRR Plan: Collect, Reshape, Reuse, was all about collecting PET bottles sold within the school canteens and processing to use in the school’s 3D printers. The plan is costed and ready to roll out and application is being made to the NSW State Government and Lismore City Council for funding to implement the plan. Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith was on hand to congratulate all the students for their efforts and take some of their ideas back to Lismore City Council.

Photo: Cr Darlene Cook of Rous County Council presenting Trinity Catholic College students with the trophy for the secondary school category of the 2018 Green Innovation Awards.

Trinity Catholic College students

Schools pitch in to help improve riverbank health and water quality

27 March 2018

Last week 500 rainforest plants were used to revegetate the banks of the Wilsons River, thanks to the Rous County Council bush regeneration team and students from Trinity Catholic College.

Planted as part of a project funded by the Environmental Trust, Rous County Council have partnered with Envite to work with six local schools and several private landowners to improve riverbank vegetation along the Wilsons River around Lismore. 

The area is of strategic importance to Rous County Council, as water is extracted from the river close to Lismore to supplement the town water supply.  Healthy catchments and riverbanks play a very important role in maintaining water quality in our catchments. 

So far the project has used 6,000 plants to regenerate 21 hectares of land along the Wilsons River. 

Let's clean up our river

13 December 2017

A vibrant new animation series is asking the community in the Richmond River catchment to Love it or Lose it.

The thought-provoking animations use humour to highlight how behaviours within the urban and rural setting can significantly contribute to the poor health of local waterways.

Rous County Council hope that the animations provide our community with a fuller understanding of the inter-related nature of all aspects of the health of the Richmond River and its waterways. We hope that through the fun and quirky nature of the animations, a new understanding of the place we each hold in ensuring the future health of the river will develop. Our roles may be different. But our objective is the same – a clean and healthy future for our waterways.

Watch the animations and complete the survey for your chance to win double pass movie tickets - drawn each and every month until December 2018!

Learn more about rural runoff, urban stormwater and water saving by downloading the factsheets associated with this project.

The Love it or Lose it campaign is a collaboration between Ballina Shire Council, Lismore City Council, Kyogle Council, Rous County Council, Richmond Valley Council and North Coast Local Land Services.

This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

Natural Disaster Relief Assistance

7 December 2017

Rous County Council has been successful in its application for assistance under the Natural Disaster Relief Assistance Program, after the North Coast floods in March 2017. The Program will allow Council to be reimbursed up to $765,000 after restoring council-owned assets in the mid-Richmond area damaged as a result of the flooding.

A further Natural Disaster Relief Assistance Program application is current before the NSW State Government for consideration for restoration of infrastructure associated with the South Lismore and Lismore CBD Levee schemes. This application for assistance as a result of the March 2017 floods is valued at approximately $790,000.

Works have already commenced on repairs to the most adversely effected assets. Council has up until 30 June 2019 to complete and certify eligible works, to enable the grant of money to be paid.

The Program is administered by the NSW Government and makes financial assistance available to local councils under State and Commonwealth Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

Rous County Council has been working closely with other local Councils, as well as State and Commonwealth counterparts, in efforts to alleviate the impact of the March flooding event upon the community. This includes the restoration and repair of essential infrastructure.

Flood mitigation options to be modelled with grant from NSW State Government

7 December 2017

Rous County Council has received an $80,000 grant from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to work with Lismore City Council and its Floodplain Risk Management Committee to examine flood mitigation options.

The grant will allow modelling to be undertaken, generating data to inform which flood mitigation options may be the most effective. Options for consideration include raising the height of the CBD levee, expansion of the South Lismore levee or excavation to divert floodwaters.

It is the intention to have useable data within 6 months for consideration, with modelling to begin right away.