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Nymboida hydro scheme remains in limbo

Geoff Helisma

Another of CVC’s renewable strategies – a desktop investigation into reinstating the Nymboida hydro power station – remains in limbo.

The council is “still waiting on Essential Energy [to] confirm [its] board’s position on disposing of the site and providing access to undertake [a] feasibility study, [and because of] COVID19 restrictions”, the report to yesterday’s CVC meeting stated in the ‘Council Meeting Checklist – Update on Actions Taken’.

The strategy was adopted at the October 22, 2019, CVC meeting, with only Cr Greg Clancy opposed.

Councillors committed to the following spending on the initiative, as advised by staff: “The cost of the report from GHD was $35,400 (Ex GST) which was funded from the Sustainability Fund.

“Should Council have the risk appetite to proceed further with recommissioning the Nymboida Hydro Power Station and subject to the Essential Energy’s consent, Council would need to fund: Expert consultants and solicitors to facilitate negotiations (initial estimates being in the order of $100,000).

“Consultants to undertake a detailed feasibility study (initial estimates being in the order of $80,000).

“Consultants to complete the engineering design and construction management (initial estimates being in the order of $300,000).”

Councillors last considered the proposal in February 2020 and resolved in a confidential session: “That Council Resolutions 08.20.001Nymboida Hydro Power Station and 08.20.002 Proposed Purchase of Property for Water Quality Protection, which were passed in closed session, be adopted but not made public under Section 10A (2)-c of the Local Government Act, as the resolutions contain information that would, if disclosed, confer a commercial advantage on a person with whom the Council is conducting business.”