News

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

Future Water Project 2060

22 July 2021

A three-stage Future Water Project 2060 was adopted by Rous County Council at an extraordinary meeting, 21 July 2021, with groundwater front and centre for the project’s first two stages.

Read the full media release here.

Rocky Creek Dam Reserve

30 June 2021

On behalf of Rous County Council, Southern Cross University performed research into the non-market value of tourism and recreational services provided by the Rocky Creek Dam reserve.  
The results provide insight into the numbers of people visiting the popular reserve, where they lived, why they came and what they valued at the site. 
The results provide valuable information for Rous to consider. One noticeable observation and the most common response from interviewees was to maintain the status quo, and not make any changes to the reserve.
In summary:

  • The study revealed that an estimated 39,500 people visit the site each year.
  • Visitors came from a variety of locations and travelled from as far as Darwin and Adelaide.
  • Visitors came to Walk/bushwalk/hike/trails running (70%); Picnic/BBQ (39%); Siteseeing (25%); Taking in nature (17%); Bird watching (12%); Dog walking/use of the playground/other.
  • The estimated value of provided tourism and recreational services is $1.6 million per annum.

The full report produced by Dr. Mitchell Kirby is available here.

Future Water Project - submissions closed

31 May 2021

Project timeline:

Albert Park School tree planting

6 May 2021

There was no shortage of green thumbs at Albert Park School’s tree planting event on Tuesday!

The school came together for a day of outdoor fun under the warm Autumn sun, with plenty of hands-on activities, where students learned about their local river systems and how we can all take action for our catchment! Rous County Council was excited to team up with experts from Southern Cross University, showing students how freshwater invertebrates can be indicators of waterway health.

This event was the first of six for schools along the Wilson’s River in Lismore and Tucki Creek in Goonellabah - plenty more fun to come! The project is being delivered in partnership between Wilsons River Landcare and Richmond Landcare with support from Lismore City Council, EnviTE and Rous County Council

Students found that water bugs from high in the catchment near the Nightcap rainforest, had a higher abundance (more of them) and greater diversity (lots of different types) than the water bugs from the Wilson’s river in the lower catchment. We talked about how reducing our water use and caring for catchment health by making sure only rain goes down the drain, as well as planting more native trees along riverbanks are all important steps in reviving our sick rivers.

This event comes as the Wilson’s River Landcare Group has received a third round of funding from the NSW Environmental Trust to restore the Wilson’s River. School students from Trinity Catholic College, Richmond River High School, Woodlawn College, St Carthage's Primary, Albert Park Public and Kadina High School along with local bush regenerator teams join this project and will be planting 6000 trees along the riverbank over the course of three years - fantastic news for the Wilson’s River!

Draft Delivery program/Operational plan (incl. 2021/22 Budget) Submissions closed.

4 May 2021

A copy of the above document is available here. Submissions are invited until 9.00am Tuesday 1 June 2021 by email at council@rous.nsw.gov.au  or post to: Rous County Council, PO Box 230, Lismore 2480.

A copy is also available for inspection at our Administration Office, 218-232 Molesworth Street, Lismore, 2480.

Lismore Tree Services at Rocky Creek Dam

29 April 2021

Lismore Tree Services will be at Rocky Creek Dam on Monday, 10 May and Tuesday, 11 May (weather permitting). The Park will remain open, however signage will be erected warning visitors to stay clear. 

Rocky Creek Dam Park temporarily closed

21 April 2021

The Rocky Creek Dam Park will be closed tomorrow morning, Thursday, 22 April 2021. It is anticipated the Park will reopen at 10.30am.

Revised Future Water Supply on Public Exhibition

29 March 2021

Activating existing groundwater sources fulltime in Alstonville and utilising underground aquifers in Tyagarah now form the centrepiece of Rous County Council’s revised draft Future Water Project 2060, to be on public exhibition from 1 April 2021.

Read the full media release here.

Draft Future Water Project 2060 - Integrated Water Cycle Management

18 March 2021

At its March meeting, Council endorsed the revised draft Future Water Project 2060 – Integrated Water Cycle Management for public exhibition for a period of eight weeks to commence from 1 April 2021.

Key points of the revised draft document can be read here.

Southern Cross University - A Sustainable Water Partner

18 March 2021

Rous County Council acknowledges Southern Cross University (SCU) for its commitment to water efficiency and sustainability, achieving significant water savings. Equipment and technology upgrades at SCU have resulted in significant water savings. This project has been implemented with support through Rous County Council’s Sustainable Water Partner Program. 

Read the case study here.

Dunoon Dam shelved as Rous County Councillors endorse groundwater for short-to-medium term water security and recycled water for long-term

22 December 2020

At Rous County Council’s meeting on 16 December 2020, Councillors resolved not to continue with the proposed Dunoon Dam and instead focus on a combination of groundwater and recycled water for the region’s long-term water security. Demand management will continue to be a key strategy including water loss management and smart metering.

Read the full media release here.

Adoption of integrated water management strategy to be tabled at Council meeting

9 December 2020

Rous County Council’s plan to future-proof the region’s water supply will be tabled at Council’s ordinary meeting on 16 December 2020

Read the full media release here.

Council awarded $250,000 State Bushfire Recovery grant to tackle Tropical Soda Apple

20 November 2020

Rous County Council (RCC) has recently been awarded a $250,000 grant from North Coast Local Land Services as part of the NSW Government’s Bushfire Recovery stimulus funding. The grant will be used to help control weed infestations of Tropical Soda Apple (TSA) on priority areas affected by the 2019-2020 bushfires.

Read the full media release here.

Presentation of financial statements 2019-2020

In accordance with Section 413 (2c) of the Local Government Act 1993 and Clause 215 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005, any person may make a submission in writing to Council with respect to the Council’s Audited Financial Statements or the Auditor’s Reports for y.e. 30 June 2020. A summary of the Statements is available here and a full copy of the Statements is available here. A copy may also be viewed in person at Council’s Administration Office, Level 4, 218-232 Molesworth Street, Lismore. Submissions close 17 November 2020.

Killen Falls walking track, temporary closure

26 October 2020

Ballina Shire Council has commenced activities requiring the closure of the Killen Falls parking area, amenities, walking tracks and waterfall between Monday, 26 October and Thursday, 29 October 2020.

Please note that access to the water walk and viewing platform at Emigrant Creek Dam, managed by Rous County Council, will be closed for the same period.

Rocky Creek Dam

13 October 2020

The picnic area will be closed for maintenance on Wednesday, 14 October, between 7am and 10am.

First ever outbreak of Parthenium in Northern Rivers region

1 October 2020

Our Weed Biosecurity Officers have uncovered an outbreak of Parthenium weed on a rural property in Tweed Shire for the first time in history for this region.

Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus), a native of the Caribbean region, is both highly invasive to the natural and agricultural environment and is known to cause severe health reactions in humans and livestock.

*IMPORTANT*  As Parthenium is known to cause respiratory and other health issues, it is advised you exercise extreme caution if you suspect it is on your property. Report immediately, move all livestock away from that area and do not attempt to remove any plants yourself.

Read the full media release here.

Amazonian Frogbit outbreak

16 September 2020

Rous County Council Weed Biosecurity Officers recently located an outbreak of Amazonian Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum), an invasive water weed which had spread along a 36-kilometre stretch of water near Lismore, Northern NSW. Frogbit has been introduced to this region as decorative aquatic plants for backyard ponds or aquariums.

Rous County Council in partnership with NSW Department of Primary Industries has deployed a rapid response to the outbreak, including surveillance along affected and adjoining waterways and installing a series of booms to prevent spread and minimise any further impact on the environment.

Frogbit is a fast growing, floating freshwater Prohibited Matter species that can:

  • form large dense mats across the water's surface
  • prevent native water plants from growing
  • reduces light, food and shelter for fish and other aquatic animals
  • block waterways and irrigation channels.

If you find something you think is Frogbit, keep it contained if in an isolated area and report immediately via either:

*IMPORTANT* Do not release Frogbit into the wild as this will cause it to fragment into waterways and rapidly reproduce. There are on-the-spot fines and heavy penalties for knowingly trading or selling this prohibited substance.

Further information on Amazonian Frogbit can be found here.

Next steps for the proposed Future Water Project 2060

14 September 2020

The 10-week public exhibition period for the Future Water Project 2060 (FWP2060) closed on 9 September 2020.

Public submissions made during this time will now be collated by an external consultant, who will provide a report to Rous County Council and its Councillors for their examination.

This report will be tabled at an ordinary Council meeting in December. At this time, Councillors will consider the submissions and determine the next phases in securing future water for our region.

After being open from 1 July for six weeks, the public exhibition period was extended in August for an additional four weeks, giving the community even more time in which to provide their views on the FWP2060.

Rous County Council would like to thank all of those who made a formal submission during this time.

To find out more about the FWP2060, please visit www.rous.nsw.gov.au/futurewater

Future Water Project 2060 - extension of public exhibition period until September

Northern Rivers residents now have more time to comment on the proposed Future Water Project 2060 after Rous County Council extended its public exhibition period.

Public submissions on the proposed Future Water Project 2060 will be accepted until Wednesday 9 September 2020 – giving the community an extra 28 days on top of the current six-week exhibition period.

Read the full media release 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 council@rous.nsw.gov.au. 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 council@rous.nsw.gov.au

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: www.rous.nsw.gov.au/160litrechallenge

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.