Mini-tsunami cause pin-pointed

A NYMBOIDA property owner says an electricity company's negligence was responsible for a "mini-tsunami" which tore through the region nearly a year ago.

Property owner John Jones said a torrent resulting from the collapse of an Essential Energy bulkhead on February 23 came about because the company failed to maintain infrastructure feeding water from the Nymboida River to the hydro-electric power station on Goolang Creek.

In a letter to Essential Energy regional general manager Brendon Neyland, Mr Jones claims failure to maintain infrastructure on the river resulted in the collapse.

"The fault lay squarely with Essential Energy, based on their own report conducted by GHD Consulting detailing the level of maintenance required as well as pointing out the expected life of the weir that had gone past its effective used by date," the letter said.

Mr Jones said Essential Energy was legally responsible for returning the damaged creeks to their previous condition.

However, his main gripe is that despite writing three letters to the company since the incident, he has yet to hear from it.

"I did not expect Essential Energy to pay for anything," he said.

"It was more that in nearly 12 months, I have not had a single reply from them about what happened."

Mr Jones said his lifestyle had been diminished after the accident, with the creek through his property reduced to a trickle. "The water stinks, its not fit for any sort of use," he said.

He said Essential Energy had a responsibility to return the power station to full operation because of its heritage listing under the NSW Heritage Act.

A spokesperson for Essential Energy said the incident created a complex issue.

"We are committed to working collaboratively to consider and balance operational, environmental, social, historical and commercial impacts to achieve the best outcome for all parties," she said.

"A comprehensive investigation and consultation process could take up to 12 months to complete. This requires consultation with a range of stakeholders, including the Department of Water, Fisheries, Environment, EPA, State MP Chris Gulaptis, Clarence Valley Council and landowners."

Essential Energy encourages landowners with concerns to call them on 132391.


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