Sunday 31 July 2022

Notice to Readers


North Coast Voices will not be publishing posts from today Sunday 31 July until Sunday 7 August 2022.

Apologies to regular readers and sometime browsers.

Saturday 30 July 2022

Tweets of the Week

Friday 29 July 2022

The question has to be asked. How many of the more than 9.23 million people who caught COVID-19 in the last 2 years and five months will have their lives diminished or shortened by chronic post-COVID health conditions?

It is time Australian society stops pretending it is on top of this pandemic.......

ABC News, 28 July 2022:

NSW Health looked at data from 639,430 people infected with COVID for the first time in January when the Omicron wave took off.

The analysis was done by matching the name, and date of birth, of cases.

It showed that within five months, 20,460 people, or 3.2 per cent, had been reinfected.

Reinfection was defined as a positive test four weeks after being released from seven-day isolation, or 36 days after testing positive.

More than 20,000 people reinfected with COVID within five months

Number and proportion of the 639,403 cases in January reinfected in subsequent months

..Nick Wood, a paediatrician and immunisation expert from the University of Sydney, said in theory, the first exposure to COVID should give some natural immunity that would stop people getting as sick the second time around.

"Your prior immunological exposure, natural infection and vaccine history all probably plays into how you as the individual deal with your second infection," he said.

People who were immune-suppressed or who had ongoing respiratory problems from the first infection would be more impacted with subsequent infections, he said.

"That's all the difficulties in teasing it out how severe, but I think the general, the belief is that the second or third infection are probably less severe than the initial primary infection."

Dr Wood said the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron were able to evade both vaccine-induced immunity and infection from a previous variant.

"The immunity that they generate is not enough to stop you being infected," he said.

He said that over time, experts hope that as new variants come along, the population is more able to deal with them because of past infections or vaccination……

On the 24th of this month The Sydney Morning Herald reported that:

Researchers investigating long COVID cases in Australia say 5 per cent of people infected with COVID-19 will develop the condition. The prevalence of long COVID before vaccinations were available was an estimated 10 per cent.

The 55,000 people in Australia who tested positive today ... equates to 2000 to 3000 new cases of long COVID,” Kovacic said. To date, Australia has recorded almost 9 million COVID-19 cases.

Even after accounting for reinfection “we’re looking at almost half a million people who are going to be suffering long-term symptoms in the coming months”, Kovacic said.

The Guardian newspaper reported on 27 July 2022 that a serosurvey of antibodies to the virus detected in blood donations, conducted at the Kirby Institute and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), had found that in 5,139 blood donations received from adults between 9 June and 18 June evidence of past COVID-19 infection was detected in 46.2% of samples. A previous examination of blood donors in late February 2022 had found evidence of past infection in only 17% of blood donors.

Noni Winkler, an author of the findings and an epidemiologist at the NCIRS, said the sample size was large enough to reflect rates of the virus in the broader adult population. It should be noted that seroprevalence estimates may miss approximately 20% of infections.

According to the federal Dept. of Health, as of Thursday 27 July 2022 there were est. 373,868 confirmed active COVID-19 cases across Australia. A total of 499,566 of these cases were newly confirmed within the previous 24 hours.

At that point 5,364 COVID-19 infected people were hospitalised, with 145 in intensive care units including 38 patients requiring ventilation.

The national daily COVID-19 death toll on 27 July was 126 people.

By 27 July the cumulative total of confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 9,235,014 – a figure that can only be described as a massive under reporting of the actual number of infected individuals between 25 January 2020 to 27 July 2022.

The cumulative total of confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 for the same time period is 11,387 deaths of men, women & children. The federal Dept. of Health records that 14 of these deaths were in children 0 to 9 years of age and est. 8,843 were in people aged 70 to 90+ years of age.

Needless to say, the highest cumulative death tolls up to 27 July are in the east coast mainland states of Victoria (4,433), New South Wales (4,051) and Queensland (1,510).

NSW Dept. of Health as at 4pm on Wednesday. 27 July 2022:

In the December 2021 - January 2022 during a SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant surge period in New South Wales, when the public health response was visibly failing to meet even the most basic needs (information, testing & general support) of people expected to self-manage their COVID-19 infection at home, anecdotal evidence began to surface in Northern NSW that individuals and whole families were no longer reporting the result of RAT tests to NSW Health or seeking PCR testing where it was still available.

It was at that point that official government pandemic statistics in Australia were broken beyond repair as a predictive tool with regard to future pandemic behaviour and, effective federal-state public health strategies withered away in the face of continuously climbing infection and mortality figures in the most populous states.

Consumer Price Inflation now stands at 6.1% in the 12 months to end of June 2022 in Australia - rising 1.8% in the June Quarter


Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), media release, 27 July 2022:

SOURCE: Consumer Price Index, Australia, June 2022

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.8 per cent in the June 2022 quarter and 6.1 per cent annually, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Head of Prices Statistics at the ABS, Michelle Marquardt, said "The quarterly increase of 1.8 per cent was the second highest since the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), following on from a 2.1 per cent increase last quarter."

The most significant contributors to the rise in the June quarter CPI were new dwellings (+5.6 per cent) and automotive fuel (+4.2 per cent).

"Shortages of building supplies and labour, high freight costs and ongoing high levels of construction activity continued to contribute to price rises for newly built dwellings. Fewer grant payments made this quarter from the Federal Government's HomeBuilder program and similar state-based housing construction programs also contributed to the rise," said Ms Marquardt.

"The CPI's automotive fuel series reached a record level for the fourth consecutive quarter. Fuel prices rose strongly over May and June, following a fall in April due to the fuel excise cut."

The price of goods (+2.6 per cent) continued to rise more strongly than that of services (+0.6 per cent). Notable rises were recorded across the food group (+2.0 per cent) and the furnishings, household equipment and services group (+2.5 per cent). Main contributors to the rise in food prices included vegetables (+7.3 per cent), meals out and takeaway foods (+1.4 per cent), and fruit (+3.7 per cent). Supply chain disruptions due to flooding events, labour shortages, and rising freight costs contributed to higher prices. Furniture prices rose (+7.0 per cent) due to increased transport and material costs, and stock shortages.

Services recorded a smaller rise compared with goods. Financial services (+1.2 per cent) and holiday travel and accommodation (+2.3 per cent) rose. Child care (-7.3 per cent) fell as the full effect of additional child care subsidies for families with two or more children under the age of 6, which commenced on 7 March, flowed through into this quarter. Before and after school care vouchers offered by the NSW Government also contributed to the fall in child care costs. Urban transport fares (-4.4 per cent) fell due to free travel periods introduced by the NSW and Tasmanian State Governments within the quarter.

Annually, the CPI rose 6.1 per cent, with new dwellings (+20.3 per cent) and automotive fuel (+32.1 per cent) the most significant contributors.

"The annual rise in the CPI is the largest since the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST)."

"Annual price inflation for new dwellings was the strongest recorded since the series commenced in 1999," said Ms Marquardt.

Underlying inflation measures reduce the impact of irregular or temporary price changes in the CPI. Trimmed mean inflation increased to 1.5 per cent over the quarter and 4.9 per cent over the year. The price of goods (+8.4 per cent) continued to rise more strongly through the year than that of services (+3.3 per cent).

"Annual trimmed mean inflation was the highest since the series commenced in 2003 and annual goods inflation was the highest since 1987, as the impacts of supply disruptions, rising shipping costs and other global and domestic inflationary factors flowed through the economy," said Ms Marquardt.


Thursday 28 July 2022

SOCIAL SECURITY (ADMINISTRATION) AMENDMENT (REPEAL OF CASHLESS DEBIT CARD AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2022 closes the cashless debit card program no later than 19 September 2022 and repeals Part 3D of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (Administration Act) no later than six months after bill becomes law

The SOCIAL SECURITY (ADMINISTRATION) AMENDMENT (REPEAL OF CASHLESS DEBIT CARD AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2022 came before the Australian Parliament on the second sitting day of the 47th Parliament at 11:53am.

This bill closes the cashless debit card program no later than 19 September 2022 and repeals Part 3D of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (Administration Act) on the day on which Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Repeal of Cashless Debit Card and Other Measures) Act 2022 commences, ie no later than six months after the bill receives Royal Assent.

The bill was introduced by the Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth MP.

The Minister read into the Hansard record in part, the following:

The bill will:

Remove the ability for any new entrants to be put on the card;

Enable the more than 17,000 existing cashless debit card participants to be progressively transitioned off the card as soon as the bill receives royal assent, which we aim to have occur in the next sitting period, in September, allowing for participants to regain the financial freedom they've been asking for;

Enable the Family Responsibilities Commission to continue to support their community members by placing them onto income management where the need exists;

Allows for me to determine, following further consultation with First Nations people and my colleagues, how the Northern Territory participants on the CDC will transition, and the income management arrangements that will exist; and

Finally, it will allow for the repeal of the cashless debit card on a day to be fixed by proclamation or a maximum of six months after royal assent—allowing for the necessary time to support a staged transition off the card. It will also make consequential amendments to a number of other acts and effectively removes CDC from all social services legislation.

Our absolute priority is to ensure participants are supported through their transition off the card in a safe and structured way.

This will be done through extensive communication and an outreach strategy so that participants are well informed about the changes and what it means for them.

Information and education sessions will be held in each cashless debit card site over the transition period with culturally appropriate information and support.

Services Australia will conduct individually targeted transitional support interviews for those who need it, or want this additional assistance, to make sure exiting participants are well informed on the options available to them.

Not everyone will need this level of assistance—but this approach will ensure no-one is left behind due to being forced onto this card by the former government…..

The bill was read a second time on 27 July, with debate adjourned [Luke Howarth, LNP Qld MP] and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting.

I suspect that the forthcoming debate may be rather politically uncivil on the part of Coalition Opposition MPs. Given the brief prelude by way of interjection by backbench LNP MP for Longman Terry Young and Shadow Minister for Education & Liberal MP for Aston Alan Tudge - a cashless debit card enthusiast who as then Minister for Human Services made a joint announcement in March 2017 extending the debit card trial sites, with then Minister for Social Services Christian Porter.

Byron Writer's Festival returns as a live 3-day event from 26-28 August 2022 at North Byron Parklands

The Byron Writers Festival 2022 will be held on 26 to 28 August, with a program of 99 sessions with writers, commentators, environmentalists, poets, politicians, comedians and artists who together shape stories of hope, courage and change.

The full program across these three days can be found at:

All 2022 Festival tickets are now on sale, subject to availability and booking fees. 3-Day, 1-Day and Kids & Family Passes give access to sessions taking place at the Festival site, North Byron Parklands. Feature Events, Satellite Events and Workshops are separately ticketed and take place at venues throughout the region.



Street Address

2/58 Centennial Circuit

Byron Bay, NSW 2481

Postal Address

PO Box 1846

Byron Bay, NSW 2481

Telephone: (02) 6685 5115

Fax: (02) 6685 5166

Email: via website at

Echo, 26 July 2022:

The Byron Writers Festival is set to feature more than 20 Indigenous writers and storytellers this year, leading discussions with a focus on healing and learning.

The stories of Australia’s eminent and emerging First Nations writers will be at the forefront of the festival, which begins on August 26.

Byron Writers Festival has again delivered a strong and tightly curated program which platforms leading First Nations thinkers, writers and poets from across the continent – a diverse range of voices that are much at the forefront of our national dialogue,’ Byron Writers Festival Board Member, and Bundjalung man Daniel Browning said.

Clockwise from top left: Evelyn Araluen, Bruce Pascoe, Marcia Langton, Paul Callaghan, Jackie Huggins, Aaron Fa’Aoso. Image: Byron Writers Festival

The ongoing impacts of colonisation will be among the topics explored at the main festival site, with some of the country’s leading intellectuals including Marcia Langton, Jackie Huggins, Chelsea Watego and Veronica Gorrie taking the stage.

The Thea Astley Address will be delivered by Professor Judy Atkinson on the power of stories to heal.

Black Comedy stars Steven Oliver and Aaron Fa’aoso will also be part of a line-up that will include Bronwyn and Ella Noah Bancroft, Danny Teece-Johnson and emerging authors Megan Albany and Mykaela Saunders.

The program will also showcase experts in First Nations science including Bruce Pascoe, Corey Tutt and Krystal De Napoli and Karlie Noon, whose book Sky Country explores Indigenous astronomy.

Mia Thom, an emerging Bundjalung leader who was co-organiser of the School Strike for Climate movement within the Byron Shire will take part in the panel ‘Leaders for the New Age’ and the Saturday night feature event ‘Radical Hope’.

Paul Callaghan will share how Indigenous thinking can change your life in sessions focused on healing and wellbeing.

No writers’ festival in Australia would be complete without a strong representation of First Nations voices,’ Artistic Director Zoe Pollock said.

Particularly in this moment, when we are facing the climate crisis head on, more space needs to be created for Indigenous people to share their knowledge and lead discussions around the way forward.’

In the evenings the Brunswick Picture House will become a hub of highlight events including ‘Bundjalung Nghari – Indigenise’ presented in association with theatre company NORPA and curated by Rhoda Roberts featuring Bundjalung stories written by Steven Oliver, Kylie Caldwell, Ella Noah Bancroft, Melissa Lucashenko and Daniel Browning.

The festival has also partnered with Blak & Bright curator Jane Harrison to present ‘The Bogong’, a Blak version of ‘The Moth’, featuring award-winning poet Evelyn Araluen amongst six brilliant First Nations authors in spoken word form.

Every year Byron Writers Festival fundraises for the important work undertaken by the Indigenous Literary Foundation. Festival patrons are encouraged to make a donation in one the orange boxes that will be circulating the festival site with volunteers or at the ILF tent.

Wednesday 27 July 2022

Cartoons of the Week

Cathy Wilcox

Fiona Katauskas

David Rowe


42 year old Perth resident Tobias Moran (formerly Tobias Suckfuell) arrested in relation to the 2005 murder of Simone Strobel in Lismore, NSW

Simone Strobel
Image: ABC News, 12 February 2014

NSW Police, News, 26 July 2022:

Man arrested following extensive investigations into 2005 homicide of German backpacker Simone Strobel

Tuesday, 26 July 2022 03:53:32 PM

A man has been arrested in Western Australia following an extensive investigation into the homicide of German backpacker Simone Strobel, on the Far North Coast more than 15 years ago.

Simone, aged 25, was last seen at the Lismore Tourist Caravan Park on Friday 11 February 2005, after a night out with her then-boyfriend and friends.

Her body was found six days later (Thursday 17 February 2005), concealed under palm fronds at a sportsground less than 100m from the caravan park.

At a coronial inquest in 2007, then-State Coroner, Paul McMahon, ruled there was insufficient evidence to lay charges over Simone's death.

Detectives from Richmond Police District established Strike Force Howea in February 2005 to investigate Simone’s murder – with assistance from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, and their counterparts at the Wuerzburg Criminal Police and the Prosecutor´s Office in Wuerzburg.

In October 2020, the NSW Government announced a $1 million reward for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Simone’s homicide. The Bavarian Office of Criminal Investigation had also announced a 10,000 Euro reward for residents of both Germany and Australia back in 2014.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives travelled to Western Australia, where – with assistance from Western Australian Police Force – a 42-year-old man was arrested at a home today (Tuesday 26 July 2022).

NSW detectives will apply for an extradition warrant.

Further information will be provided when available.

Strike Force Howea investigators are continuing to work with their international counterparts, with investigations continuing.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Howea detectives is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

The Legend In His Own Mind Skips Opening of the 47th Australian Parliament Today


Today, Tuesday 26 July 2022 the Australian Parliament begins sitting for the first time since it was dissolved in April ahead of the May federal election.

It will come as no surprise that former Australian Prime Minister and now just plain backbench Liberal MP for Cook, Scott Morrison, will not be in attendance,

He has very carefully made plans to be elsewhere – pretending to international audiences that he is a person of national importance.

He wasn't much believed when he was prime minister. I wonder if he will be believed now?

Then Australian Prime Minister Morrison
pictured at G7 Summit & COP26 Summit

IMAGES: Daily Mail UK, 26 Aug 2019 & 2 Nov 2021, 25 July 2022:

Where’s Scott Morrison?

The former Prime Minister has confirmed he won’t be rocking up when parliament resumes this week.

Instead, he will be enjoying his $211,250-a-year taxpayer funded salary while travelling in Japan, mingling with former prime ministers.

And can you believe it?

There’s a good chance he will be earning some extra cash on the speakers’ circuit while he’s overseas.

Depending on where he’s speaking or which event he is attending, the going rate for such events can be $50,000 or more plus some fancy air tickets.

Mr Morrison had barely packed away his passport and suitcase from his trip to the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul a fortnight ago before jetting off again.

Meanwhile, the lights are on but nobody’s home at his new parliamentary office in Canberra.

There’s no answer in that office,’’ said the lovely lady on the parliamentary switchboard.

In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Mr Morrison confirmed he will visit Tokyo and return to parliament in August…..

Counting Dead Women: the ugly brutal statistic continues in July 2022


Counting Dead Women
IMAGE: Destroy The Joint


Violence against women and girls in Australia follows a distressingly predictable path in 2022.

By 20 July this year the number of women reported in the media as dying as the result of violent attack by another person stood at 25 dead.

That is roughly one woman being killed every 8 days.

This figure relies on media reports of such deaths, which often can mean a significant under reporting of the real number of women and girls who die at the hands of partners, former partners, family members, acquaintances or strangers over a given period.

Before going to a federal election this year the former Morrison Government drafted the fifth National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032.

It's hard to imagine this particular draft plan when implemented making much difference to the violent related gender-based death toll, when the preceding four (beginning in 2010-2013) have failed to bring this century's femicide count down below that 'one-a-week' sticking point in Australia.


Violence against women and children in Australia is mostly perpetrated by men. Around four in five, family and domestic violence offenders are male. Men’s violence against women, including intimate, partner violence, is more prevalent, more often used repeatedly and more likely to lead to serious injury, disability or death. More than one in three Australians have experienced violence by a male perpetrator since the age of 15, compared to one in ten by a female perpetrator. While men can also be victim-survivors of family, sexual and domestic violence, men are more likely to experience violence from a stranger…..

Family, domestic and sexual violence also causes a huge economic impact with KPMG estimating this scourge costs Australia around $26 billion each year, 40 with victims and survivors bearing approximately 50 per cent of that cost.

Importantly, while sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence can occur in the context of domestic and family violence, it can also be perpetrated by other people known or unknown to the victim-survivor. In order to be effective, it is critical that our efforts to prevent, address, and respond to sexual violence recognise both the intersections and clear points of difference between domestic and family violence and sexual violence…..

Family, domestic and sexual violence also causes a huge economic impact with KPMG estimating this scourge costs Australia around $26 billion each year, with victims and survivors bearing approximately 50 per cent of that cost.

[Australian Government, (January 2022), “Draft National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032, pp. 11-12, 15]

Monday 25 July 2022

Welcome to the global pandemic that does what big pandemics do, just go on and on and on....


CSSE: Global COVID-19 Infections in the 28 days ending 2:20am
on 24 July 2021


When thinking of global pandemics there are two historical events which spring to mind, spaced a little over five centuries apart – the Bubonic Plague which included an infection wave known as “The Black Death” and the Influenza Global Pandemic known at the time as “The Spanish Flu”.

When the Bubonic Plague first manifested itself across the Northern Hemisphere it lasted approximately three years in the mid-14th Century and became an unwelcome infectious presence during another four episodes of closely spaced, similar time periods before that century ended. By which time it was thought to have caused the deaths of at least 75 million men, women and children, around one third of the Northern Hemisphere population.

Bubonic Plague never went away as a highly infectious disease capable of reaching epidemic proportions and killing tens of thousands of people during outbreaks, however a better understanding of plagues and modern medicine has kept it relatively contained in recent centuries.

The Influenza Global Pandemic of 1918-1920 caused by the 1918 Influenza H1N1 virus was of shorter duration than the plague but appears to have come in three waves across the one event. It is estimated that about 500 million of the world’s population became infected with this virus resulting in est. 50 million deaths. There are similar Influenza A(H1N1) viruses in existence today.

Right now in 2022 the world is halfway through the third year of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic and, due to four significant and increasingly infectious variants of SARS-CoV-2 developing and spreading around the world, there appears no end in sight to its pandemic status in the near future.

According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore USA, as of 4:20pm on Sunday 24 July 2022 there were 25,973,159 new COVID-19 cases recorded world-wide in the last 28 days with 55,140 deaths caused by the virus in the same period. That brings the total global cumulative infection count to est. 569,644,897 men, women and children including 6,383,484 deaths.

Again, according to CSSE, Australia recorded 1,103,009 new COVID-19 cases in the 28 days up to 4:20pm on Sunday 24 July 2022 with 1,490 deaths caused by this viral disease in the same period. That brings Australia’s cumulative infection number since 25 January 2020 to est. 9,103,321 men, women and children including 11,172 deaths.

When it comes to New South Wales, in the 28 days up to 4pm Friday 22 July 2022 NSW Health had recorded 157,460 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases (a deliberate under reporting as it only includes diagnoses by PCR omitting reported RAT results) including est. 497 deaths caused by this viral disease. Bringing the total cumulative infection number since 25 January 2022 to 3,091,157 men, women and children across the state, including 3,996 deaths.

Currently health authorities around Australia are warning that another wave of COVID-19 infections underway which is driven by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants and, mainstream media is reporting that almost half a million people who had been infected with COVID-19 recently will possibly develop a post COVID-19 condition aka “Long Covid” in the coming months.

So when will this particular global pandemic end? When WHO identified the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant B.1.1.529 in November 2021 the world seemed to feel quite confident that  we might see an end to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2023.

However, not only did Omicron spread swiftly it began to produce subvariants, including BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, BA.5 and descendent lineages. The Omicron variant group also includes BA.1/BA.2 circulating recombinant forms such as XE. WHO emphasizes that these descendant lineages should be monitored as distinct lineages by public health authorities and comparative assessments of their virus characteristics should be undertaken

Given Australian federal and state governments appear to have lost the will to keep in place all public health measures which actively resist the spread of Omicron & its subvariants which now dominate the infection pool, it is difficult to be optimistic about any timeline for an end to the pandemic within Australian borders.

In the 28 days up to 4pm on 23 July 2022 a total of 2,721 people living across the 7 local government areas within the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) have been diagnosed with COVID-19. This is a significant under reporting as it only includes diagnoses by PCR omitting reported RAT results.

This aforementioned figure includes positive diagnoses by PCR testing in:

Tweed Shire – 1,104 cases

Ballina Shire – 613 cases

Lismore City – 347 cases

Clarence Valley – 293 cases

Byron Shire – 177 cases

Richmond Valley – 120 cases

Kyogle Shire – 35 cases

Tenterfield – incidence where there is a shared postcode which includes some Tenterfield residents within NNSWLHD not reported in relevant NSW Health statistical table for this period.

Sunday 24 July 2022

Coming to grips with the reality of Clarrie Hall Dam in 2022 - Tweed Shire Council seeking community feedback on its draft water release strategy


Tweed Shire Council, media release, 21 July 2022:

Feedback invited on draft Clarrie Hall Dam Water Release Policy

Learn more about how water is released from Clarrie Hall Dam

Clarrie Hall Dam is the Tweed's main water storage facility. Council is seeking community feedback on its draft Water Release Policy, with an information session to be held in Murwillumbah on 10 August.

Tweed Shire 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

Submissions close on 16 August 2022.

The spillway at Clarrie Hall Dam does not allow for flood mitigation as there is no capability to regulate or change the flow of water through the dam's spillway.