Save Byrrill Creek


A Dam on Byrrill Creek

  • Tweed Shire Council owns approx 1100 hectares at Byrrill Creek, with 700 hectares used as hardwood plantation. The purchase was originally undertaken to secure land for a future dam.
  • Prior to the construction of Clarrie Hall Dam in 1982, Byrrill Creek and Rocky Cutting on the Oxley River had been identified as potential future dam sites.
  • In April 2007, the Federal Water Minister Malcolm Turnbull, identified the site at Rocky Cutting on the Oxley River has the preferred site to build a dam and pipe water over the McPherson Ranges to the Nerang River in Queensland.


Byrrill Creek Rocky Cutting Map   (Image: Tweed Shire Council)


Rocky Cutting Map (Image: Tweed Shire Council)


  • Read former CEC Founder and Coordinator Paul ‘Hop.E’ Hopkin’s 2007 TREE Magazine article Damning the Tweed.
  • In October 2010, Tweed Shire Council approved dam at Byrrill Creek, shocking all who had expected Council to follow staff recommendations to raise wall of Clarrie Hall Dam.


Byrrill Map   (Image: Tweed Shire Council)


  • Raising the existing Clarrie Hall Dam would cost $36.1 million and increase capacity its from 16 megalitres to 42.3 megalitres (increase of 26.3 megalitres).
  • Byrrill Creek Dam would cost $45.8 million and provide 16.3 megalitres.
  • Combined capacity of the two dams would be 32.3 megalitres, 10 megalitres less than Clarrie Hall Dam if walls were raised.
  • Council had commissioned report that identified 45 threatened fauna species and 26 flora species and two endangered ecological communities within a 5km radius of Byrrill Creek

  • 45 threatened animal species, 26 threatened plants, 2 endangered ecological communities

  • Including Albert’s Lyrebird, Golden-tipped Bat, Pouched Frog, Giant Barred Frog, Double-eyed fig parrot, spotted-tail quoll, Brush-tailed rock wallaby. All would be affected by construction of dam that would inundate 400 hectares.

  • At this time, the Save Byrrill Creek Campaign swung into action and furiously opposed the damming of Byrrill Creek.
  • Read transcript of Samuel Dawson’s speech to Tweed Shire Councillors in 2010.
  • In December 2010, two months after the announcement, 2000 were signatures collected and presented to council.

  • 5000 signatures in a parliamentary petition were tabled in NSW State Parliament.

  • Total projected cost of the Byrrill Creek Dam was reported to be up to $67 million.

  • The NSW Government subsequently prohibited construction of dam on Byrrill Creek.

  • Population of shire increased from 49,000 in 1992 to 80,000 in 2009, but water consumption per capita had dropped 40% in past 20 years.

  • In May 2012, Tweed Shire Council imposed a 20 year moratorium on building the Byrrill Creek Dam.

  • In July 2012 an attempt to remove the moratorium was unsuccessful.

  • In February 2013, the Byrrill Creek Dam was back on agenda, this time at a Federal level

  • A draft discussion paper from the Federal Coalition Dams and Water Management Task Group was leaked to Sydney newspaper which identified 100 possible national sites were dam projects are to be considered.


 It is the vision of the Caldera Environment Centre that the Byrrill Creek area be Federally classified as a high conservation corridor that links Mt.Warning/Wollumbin National Park to Mebbin National Park and ultimately to the Border Ranges National Park.



Feb 2010 – Dam The Tweed – YouTube

Oct 2010 – Save Byrrill Creek – YouTube




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