News

Low-level aerial surveys in the Tweed and Byron shires

9 June 2022

Rous County Council (Weed Biosecurity) will be conducting low-level aerial surveys throughout the Tweed and Byron shires for mapping biosecurity matter along the coastline/coastal areas from Fingal Head to Cape Byron.

This survey will be conducted on Friday, 10 June 2022, from 8am to 4pm, weather permitting. For more information contact us on (02) 6623 3800.

 

Rous County Council to receive NSW Government support to fix flood damaged infrastructure

1 June 2022

Rous County Council has confirmed it will receive funding from the NSW Government to repair water infrastructure impacted in the February and March floods. The funding announcement was made by the NSW Lands and Water Minister, Kevin Anderson, at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant on Tuesday 31 May 2022.

The $145 million support package will assist local government areas across the Northern Rivers in the urgent repair and upgrade of water and sewer infrastructure including Lismore, Richmond Valley, Ballina, Tweed, Clarence Valley, Byron and Kyogle.

Rous County Council's Manager, Phillip Rudd, welcomed the announcement.

'Our ability to produce safe and secure water for the Northern Rivers community relies on the failsafe operation of key infrastructure. The support from the NSW Government will ensure the continued effectiveness and efficiency of our systems, including the Nightcap Water Treatment plant, which was placed under unprecedented pressure during the flood event in February. The facility was able to operate throughout the event and our priority now is to ensure it is maintained in the best working condition. We are looking forward to working with the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Commission over the long term, once operational, to carry out repairs to our infrastructure.'

 

Rous County Council facilities remain closed

1 April 2022

Due to major flooding, some Council facilities will remain closed until further notice.

These include the administration building; Rous Cultural, Environmental and Information Centre; and the Kyogle Street depot.

The Rocky Creek Dam recreational area has reopened. 

For up-to-date information on weather warnings, road hazards, power outages and river heights, please call 132 500.

You can contact us on (02) 6623 3800 or by email: council@rous.nsw.gov.au 

Other resources:

 

Water is readily available for cleanup works

5 March 2022

Community members need not be concerned about using water to wash down their properties, as there is sufficient water to meet the needs of the community. Rous County Council wish to reassure the community that the Nightcap Water Treatment Plant is able to supply the council areas of Lismore, Ballina, Richmond Valley and Byron Bay. 

We are aware that some areas in the Richmond Valley local government area may still be experiencing supply interruptions. If you are experiencing water supply interruptions please phone the Council office in your area, either Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay or Richmond Valley.  

Level 3 water restrictions have been introduced in Nimbin, due to storm damage to Nimbin’s water supply. Restrictions are due to the damage to the pipes that deliver water from Nimbin weir to the storage holding dam.   

There is a boiled water alert in Casino only.  Residents in Lismore, Ballina, Byron and other areas of Richmond Valley are not required to boil water. 

The free bulk water filling station on, Krauss Avenue, South Lismore is now available - bulk water carters can use this facility and a ‘toggle’ is no longer required for access.

 

Residents requested to be mindful of their water use and reduce their consumption during the current flood disaster

1 March 2022

Rous County Council is asking the community to be mindful of their water use during the current flood disaster and where possible, reduce their water consumption during this time. This advice applies to properties connected to mains water in the areas of Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay (excluding Mullumbimby) and areas east of and including Coraki in the Richmond Valley Shire.

This request follows high turbidity levels within Rocky Creek Dam that have reduced the capacity of Nightcap Water Treatment Plant to produce water.

Rous County Council General Manager, Phillip Rudd, says there is no impact to water quality though people in some areas may experience reduced water pressure at this time. “Water quality is not affected though reducing demand in the system will help support our operations,” Mr Rudd explains.

Council urges people at home to conserve water as much as possible over the remainder of the week. “With clean-up of flood affected areas to commence in the coming days, water demand will increase, and we want to be able to support these activities,” Mr Rudd said.

Rous County Council continues to monitor the situation and will keep the community updated with any new information with regards to water supply.

Note: Rocky Creek Dam recreational area is closed until further notice.

 

Merits of long-term recycled, sea, ground and surface water sources on the table

16 February 2022

Alongside groundwater, purified recycled water and desalination, a new drinking water supply dam on Rocky Creek has joined the diverse options to be considered further by Rous County Council in response to the water security challenges facing its regional supply beyond 2040.

Council's newly elected governing body resolved at its first meeting today to complete detailed cultural heritage and biodiversity assessments for the proposed Dunoon dam in consultation with relevant Traditional Custodians.

'It is crucial the community appreciate that the Council did not approve, nor seek approval for, construction of a new dam on Rocky Creek,' Rous County Council's Chairperson Robert Mustow said.

'The three-stage approach adopted last year to secure our regional water supply until 2060 and beyond remains intact. But it's important we make sure the merits of a diversity of water supply security options are appropriately considered to inform the future water project’s final stage. Today's decision means stage three will now depend on further investigations into the potential use of either purified recycled water, desalination, more groundwater schemes or a new dam on Rocky Creek as additional regional sources post 2040. It is only when these options have been assessed further and discussed with the community that Council could contemplate whether to proceed with the relevant approval processes,' General Manager Phillip Rudd said.

Work on the detailed cultural heritage and biodiversity assessments for the proposed Dunoon dam is expected to start in 2022 and take a number of years to complete.

Rous County Council has started implementing stage one of its Future Water Project 2060, with planning and other investigations for stage two also underway.

Sourcing groundwater from the Clarence-Moreton Basin and Tweed-Brunswick Coastal Sands Aquifer to boost the regional supply and meet forecast demand until 2040 is the focus of the project's first two stages over the next decade.

Stages one and two also prioritise development of a pilot purified recycled water plant, transforming Woodburn's existing groundwater resources into a drought emergency supply and delivering more innovative water conservation initiatives. 

'The new groundwater sources and ongoing demand management measures we're putting in place through the project's initial stages will give us the time and security of supply needed to properly consider the merits of various longer-term water supply security options,' Chairperson Mustow added.

More information is available here: Future Water Project 2060.

 

Inaugural chairperson elected to lead Rous County Council's latest governing body

16 February 2022

Rous County Council's new governing body officially met for the first time today, with the election of its chairperson and deputy chairperson top of the agenda.

Richmond Valley Mayor Robert Mustow was unanimously elected chairperson.

Ballina Shire Mayor Sharon Cadwallader was unanimously elected deputy chairperson.

Chairperson Mustow and Deputy Chairperson Cadwallader will hold office for the next two years.

'I would like to sincerely thank my fellow county councillors for their trust and confidence in electing me to lead the only multi-purpose county council in NSW,' Chairperson Mustow said. 'There is no doubt a number of challenges lay ahead of us, especially when it comes to securing our regional water supply, continuing the battle against noxious weeds and mitigating local flood risks across a number of catchment areas. But I’m confident this new team of county councillors is well-positioned to successfully overcome these challenges in ways that make a real difference for the many communities counting on us each day,' Chairperson Mustow said.

Rous County Council's governing body comprises eight county councillors – two elected representatives from each of its four constituent councils (Ballina Shire, Byron Shire, Lismore City and Richmond Valley).

'I am excited about working closely with my fellow seven county councillors to deliver better flood mitigation, weed biosecurity and water supply outcomes for the Northern Rivers communities we’ve been entrusted to serve,' Deputy Chairperson Cadwallader added. 'Under the stewardship of this new council, the region's constituent councils, residents, Traditional Custodians, business owners, farmers and others can all be confident that we will responsibly manage some of our most precious natural resources.'

The role of Rous County councillors is to represent their constituent council and make decisions that are in the best interests of the region Rous County Council serves.

The other six Rous County councillors are:

  • Councillor Rod Bruem (Ballina Shire Council)
  • Councillor Michael Lyon (Byron Shire Council)
  • Councillor Sarah Ndiaye (Byron Shire Council)
  • Councillor Big Rob (Lismore City Council)
  • Councillor Andrew Gordon (Lismore City Council)
  • Councillor Sandra Humphrys (Richmond Valley Council)

The Council appointed Councillor Sarah Ndiaye as Chair of its Reconciliation Action Plan Advisory Group (with Councillor Big Rob selected as the alternate Chair).

Councillor Big Rob was also appointed as the Council's member on its Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee.

General Manager Phillip Rudd welcomed the newly elected Rous County Council. 'I’m looking forward to working with our councillors to embrace those opportunities to deliver genuine, lasting benefits for the wellbeing of the upper Northern Rivers region's residents and environment as well as its future prosperity,' Mr Rudd said. 'Rous County councillors are at the forefront of setting the clear and strong direction needed to deliver our essential services and infrastructure, a role the importance of which cannot be underestimated.'

Ordinary meetings of Rous County Council's governing body are held six times a year (on the third Wednesday of every second month). 

Meeting business papers and minutes are available here.

 

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