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

Rocky Creek Dam facilities reopen to the public 1 July 2020

26 June 2020

Rous County Council advises that the recreation facilities at Rocky Creek Dam will reopen to the public on Wednesday, 1 July 2020.

Please note that the amenities and BBQs are cleaned daily, however hard surfaces throughout the park are not cleaned. Bubblers remain off, water bottles can be filled from the tap.

The public is reminded to practice social distancing rules while at the park.

Long-proposed Dunoon Dam remains key to region's long-term water security

17 June 2020

Rous County Council's $245 million plan to future-proof the region's precious drinking water supplies is set to go on public exhibition next month.

The release of the proposed Future Water Project 2060 was unanimously endorsed by Rous County Councillors at their meeting on Wednesday 17th of June.

Read the full media release here.

Rous County Council meeting 17 June 2020

16 June 2020

The public are invited to attend Rous County Council’s meeting on Wednesday 17 June via webinar from 1pm to 4pm. If you would like to attend live via the webinar, please email The agenda is available from our website.

The meeting will be recorded and made available on the Rous County Council’s website.

St Helena pipeline update - Stage 1

18 May 2020

Rous County Council has begun Stage 1 construction on the new St Helena pipeline in response to increased demand for bulk water in coastal regions.

The 13,200-metre pipeline will be delivered in two Stages with Stage 1 running from Dorroughby to the Clunes Cross Connection and Stage 2 continuing from the Clunes Cross Connection to Friday Hut Road.

Read the full media release here.

Rocky Creek Dam facilities closed to the public

25 March 2020

Rous County Council advises that the recreation facilities at Rocky Creek Dam will be closed to the public from 12:01am, Thursday 26 March 2020.

This is in response to the Australian Government’s advice that non-essential travel should be minimised and for the safety of our staff who continue to work at the dam.

Read the full media release here.

Blackwater event occurring in parts of the Richmond River

21 February 2020

Rous County Council, the local Flood Mitigation Authority, has been monitoring water quality after recent flooding of low-lying areas of the floodplain and advise that water in the Richmond River estuary is now low in dissolved oxygen.

Read the full media release here.

Rocky Creek Dam finally spills

13 February 2020

With the dam now at full supply capacity and more than 300mm flowing over the spillway on Thursday morning, the decision has been made to lift all water restrictions.

This is a welcome sight after a prolonged period of unseasonal dry conditions with the dam last spilling in October 2018. Rainfall readings for Rocky Creek Dam show that in the first 6 weeks of 2020, we have had the same amount of rainfall recorded in 2019.

Read the full media release here.

Bangalow public water fill station is now operational

3 February 2020

The public water fill station in Dudgeon's Lane, Bangalow is now ready for domestic use only. It is not be available to commercial operators.


Rocky Creek Dam park temporary closure

31 January 2020

Rocky Creek Dam will be closed to the general public and registered tour groups for a private event from 5pm Saturday, 1 February 2020 until 9am Tuesday, 4 February 2020.

Level 2 water restrictions set for 20 January 2020

13 January 2020

Poor rainfall outlook coupled with high water demand over the holiday period has prompted water restrictions to be elevated to Level 2 effective Monday, 20 January 2020. View restriction details here.

This applies to the council areas of Ballina (including Wardell and Meerschaum Vale), Byron (excluding Mullumbimby), Lismore (excluding Nimbin), and Richmond Valley (excluding Casino).

Read the full media release here.

New water fill station in Lismore now available to the public

24 December 2019

A new water fill station for use by the public has been installed by Rous County Council in response to intense drought conditions causing an increase in demand for water carters and delays in supply.

Located in North Lismore (view location here), the fill station is now ready for domestic use only as it will not be available to commercial operators.

Rous County Council Chair, Keith Williams, said the collaboration between Rous staff and the constituent councils at this busy time of year has been impressive.

Read the full media release here.

Level 1 water restrictions to see the new year in

20 December 2019

Rous County Council is keeping Level 1 restrictions in place for the remainder of December, and to reassess the need to elevate to Level 2 in January.

Read the full media release here

Tropical soda apple still a significant threat during drought

17 December 2019

Rous County Council is reminding all Northern Rivers’ landholders and land managers of their responsibility to control and help eliminate the current weed biosecurity threat posed by Tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum). Tropical soda apple is a highly invasive weed that can have devastating impacts on local agriculture, farming and native bushland areas.

Read the full media release here.


Blue-green alert at Emigrant Creek Dam

11 December 2019

Potentially toxic levels of blue-green algae at Emigrant Creek Dam are rising and may reach unsafe levels. The water treatment plant at Emigrant Creek Dam is designed to treat water under these conditions and water provided from the treatment plant complies with Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. However, people are advised to avoid contact with affected water upstream of the dam and around the dam. Animals are particularly sensitive to the toxins released by the algae, therefore care should be taken to ensure pets and livestock do not drink or swim in the water. These toxins cannot be destroyed by boiling, and boiling may increase their toxicity. Rous County Council will continue to monitor and test the water at Emigrant Creek Dam and provide notification when levels of algae return to safe levels.


Level 1 water restrictions come into effect on Saturday 7 December 2019

5 December 2019

Level 1 water restrictions will apply to the council areas of Ballina (including Wardell and Meerschaum Vale), Byron, Lismore, and Richmond Valley (excluding land to the west of Coraki) as of Saturday 7 December 2019.

Read the full media release here.


Council to bring in Level 1 water restrictions early

20 November 2019

Rous County Council is implementing Level 1 water restrictions when the Rocky Creek Dam level reaches 70 per cent. The dam is currently at 75.6 per cent capacity.

Read the full media release here.

Council re-elects Cr Keith Williams as chairperson

25 October 2019

Cr Keith Williams (Ballina Shire Council) has been re-elected chairperson and Cr Sharon Cadwallader (Ballina Shire Council) elected deputy chairperson at Rous County Council's annual election.

Read the full media release here.

Council welcomes water quality win at Rocky Mouth Creek

21 October 2019

Rous County Council is celebrating better water quality through the implementation of their Active Floodgate Management Plan at Rocky Mouth Creek, near Woodburn on the Richmond River floodplain.

Read the full media release here.

Northern Rivers one dry summer away from water restrictions

19 October 2019

This National Water Week, Rous County Council is calling for the community to shift its mindset around water use.
With a fast-growing population and a changing climate, the regional water authority is urging Northern Rivers residents to change the way they think about using water not just in the dry season, but permanently.

Read the full media release here.

Restore the Big Scrub along the Wilsons River

12 September 2019

The community is being called on to help grow the critically endangered rainforest by planting 1,000 trees at the Wilsons River tidal pool on Friday 20 September. Book your spot

Read the full media release here.


Water-wise winners announced for 160 Litre Challenge Competition

22 August 2019

From the wildly original to simple changes in habit, top water-saving ideas have been recognised in the first 160 Litre Challenge Competition. Five winners from across the region were presented with more than $5,000 in prizes, including a water-efficient household appliance, Wet’n’Wild passes and rainwater tanks.

Read the full media release here.

Pictured L to R: Edith McKenzie, Julie Gauld, Annika Olsson, Samuel Bacon.


2019 Big Scrub Rainforest Day program announced!

19 August 2019

Four jam-packed days have been announced for the 21st annual Big Scrub Rainforest Day from 19-22 September. There are 16 activities in idyllic locations across the Big Scrub landscape so that everyone can learn about the rainforest and celebrate its magnificent biodiversity, with an eye to its restoration and care. View the full program here!

Read the full media release here.


New funding to tackle weeds together

8 August 2019

North Coast Landcare groups have received a significant boost from Rous County Council (RCC) and North Coast Local Land Services to support community action against the region’s weeds

Read the full media release here.

Pictured left to right: Rous County Council Chairman Keith Williams, Regional Weed Coordinator North Coast Local Land Services Kylie van der Kolk, Richmond Landcare Coordinator Hannah Rice-Hayes.


Rous County Council wins top innovation award

6 August 2019

Rous County Council's (RCC) winning relationship with the Big Scrub Rainforest Day has been recognised through a state-wide award.

Read the full media release here.

Pictured left to right: RCC General Manager Phillip Rudd with RCC Natural Resource Management Planning Coordinator Anthony Acret.


Local business a water saving leader

1 August 2019

Local family-run business Brookfarm is passionate about three things – macadamia products, community and the environment. In turning a rundown old dairy farm into a workable macadamia farm, the Brook family chose a sustainable path.

They started by regenerating the land with over 35,000 rainforest trees and, using environmentally sustainable farm practices, have encouraged the return of native wildlife.

Their building designs also boast sustainability initiatives. The bakehouse incorporates a solar panelled roof capture system, which is also purpose-built to collect rainwater, so water never goes to waste. The rainwater is used to irrigate the surrounding trees and gardens.

When it comes to sustainable businesses, Brookfarm walks the talk. Learn more about what you can do to save water at home, at work and at school.


Temporary car park closure

22 July 2019

A section of Crowther Carpark, east of Keen Street, will be temporarily closed for Browns Creek flood works by Rous County Council. These works will repair flood damage and restore the carpark. Works are expected to start Friday 26 July and be completed on Tuesday 30 July (weather permitting). At this time, carparks and access through Richmond Lane and Church Lane will be unavailable. Please refer to the map. Once work is complete the carpark will reopen initially without carpark lines. Please park as you have in the past until the line marking is complete. For more information, please contact Adam Nesbitt on 02 6623 3800.

Ants, wild dogs and weeds named big issues at Lismore Biosecurity Forum

14 June 2019

Invasive species and wild dog trapping were just some of the topics to capture the attention of more than 150 people at the inaugural Biosecurity Forum held at the Lismore Showgrounds.

Read the full media release here.

Young water savers show the way to a brighter future

30 May 2019

Rous County Council saw a brighter future put forward by water saving students at the Green Innovation Awards held in Lismore on 30 May.

The Awards, of which Rous County Council is a sponsor, encourage students to develop a passion for the environment by asking them to invent, develop and present solutions for greener living.

Of the 10 finalist entries in the Awards, at least four of the sustainability ideas were directly related to water.

Rous’ Water Sustainability Officer and judge at the Awards, Kylie Bott said the entries proved that saving water and preserving water quality is fresh on the mind of young people today.

“Rous County Council is very interested in hearing solutions for a brighter future, whether they’re from schools, community groups, adults or kids.”

Rous is currently on the lookout for water saving ambassadors for their 160 Litre Challenge competition and Kylie said it was inspiring to see a dynamic bunch of eco-go-getters come to the forefront at the Green Innovation Awards.

Students from the winning primary school, Wyrallah Road Public presented their school bubbler management system, which reduces water waste by measuring excess water from bubblers and reusing it on school gardens.

Empire Vale Public School presented their filtration solution for river health, which uses indigenous knowledge to create a filter that keeps waterways clean and cares for our rivers.

Goolmangar Public School shared a creative aquaponics food system that uses nutrients from the class fish tank to grow edible plants in an aqua garden system, while St Mary’s College, Casino demonstrated how swapping beef and cattle for cricket farming could provide an alternative source of protein but also reduce water use and improve the sustainability of the region.

Kylie said the Awards enabled students to share their ideas for the future of the Northern Rivers with local government and sustainability leaders in a range of expert fields.

“The 160 Litre Challenge competition is yet another opportunity for young people to express their concerns for the environment and take action to conserve our local water resources. By sharing innovative water saving ideas, you become part of the solution.”

More details on the 160 Litre Challenge can be found here:

Councillor Sharon Cadwallader at this year’s Green Innovation Awards in Lismore. A panel of expert judges examine the students’ sustainability ideas, including Water Sustainability Officer, Kylie Bott from Rous County Council (centre judge).
This year’s primary school winners, Wyrallah Road Public School raising awareness of excess water waste. Awards founder, Dr Bridie Cullinane presents Councillor Vanessa Ekin with a Certificate of Appreciation.

Primex 2019

16 May 2019

The biological control of weeds and rainwater tank rebates have sparked the curiosity of landholders and residents visiting the Rous County Council site at the 35th annual Primex at Casino.

Read the full media release here.

'Purple plague' appears in Nimbin

16 May 2019

One of the most invasive and destructive weeds known to the North Coast has been identified and controlled at a Nimbin property by a Rous County Council Biosecurity Officer this week. It is the first new Miconia plant discovery in five years in Australia.

Read the full media release here

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.    

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.