Now to our special series on Tillegra Dam and there’s a small but passionate band of residents fighting Hunter Water’s plans.
They say if we all just became a little more waterwise, then there’d be no reason to drown the picturesque Williams Valley.
“It’s very important that we regard this simply as a proposal, it has not been approved yet and Hunter Water and the state government, have continually presented this to us as a fait accompli”
The No Tillegra Dam group formed in the days after the state government’s shock announcement.
A mix of residents, environmentalists and locals, they’re determined to stop the dam going ahead.
“There’s major trauma in the community to do with this, we will be losing 3000 hectares of farming land, which seems so crazy in a time when we are in the middle of a world food crisis.”
Tom Boorer is as local as you get, a stalwart of Dungog.
“I passionately believe it will destroy Dungog as a community and that’s why I’m vehemently opposed to the dam.”
The group has protested throughout the Hunter and even taken their message to Sydney.
“It is not necessary, we oppose it on the grounds of cost, we say it’s too risky and we also say there is too much to lose.
One thing they say we can’t ignore, is the concerns of geologist Graham Holt who’s worried about a number of fault lines in the area – describing them as textbook problems.
“It runs straight through here, through the bottom of the creek just immediately in front of these rocks,and back up and straight up the hill to the south of those trees.
“So this area is riddled with faults?”
“Oh yes, it’s a complex area, it always was complex geology and there are faults literally everywhere.”
He’s not a member of the group, but was asked by a local to examine the area.
“I’ve got a professional duty to say hey, there’s a problem here.”
However, Hunter Water refutes his claims.
“We haven’t identified anything at this point in time as part of our investigations that suggests a safe dam can’t be constructed at the site.”
Tomorrow, what affect would the dam have downstream in Dungog Shire?