The Needles Dam Proposal

The proposition of a dam at The Needles first came to light at the 2012 Local Government Water Conference when an officer of State Water NSW, in his address to the Conference, stated that State Water had identified three locations in NSW that were suitable for new water storages. The three locations identified were the Hunter, Fish River area and Carcoar.

The Chairman and General Manager of CTW had discussions with the officer from State Water immediately after his address to the Conference and they were advised that the Carcoar site that he was referring to was a site called The Needles on the Belubula River downstream from the existing Carcoar Dam. He explained that originally, 40 years ago, Carcoar Dam was planned to be built at The Needles site but local politics intervened and it was built on its present site which has a very small catchment, whereas, The Needles site has a large catchment of 532km2, with a significant number of creeks flowing into it. The officer was quick to point out that it was only a proposal at this stage and was part of their future infrastructure planning.

If the 90,000ML Needles dam was approved and constructed, Carcoar Dam and the existing Lake Rowlands dam could be linked to provide a total volume of 40,300ML and, as advised by State Water, would be available for urban use. Whilst Council is still a solid supporter for the enlargement of Lake Rowlands to 26,500ML, The Needles proposal provides far better options for the region, including urban water, irrigation and flood mitigation for the Belubula Valley. It would also take the pressure off the Lachlan River during times of serious drought.

A press conference was organised for Tuesday 21 January 2014 and was held on site at the Needles Gap location. In attendance, at Mr Cobb’s invitation, were various sections of the media, the Mayors of Blayney, Cabonne, Orange and Bathurst, the Deputy Chairman of Central Tablelands Water and the GM’s of CTW, Cabonne and Blayney.

John Cobb MP Press Release re proposed dam site (PDF) 111KB

Policiticans and Media visiting the proposed dam site