Nymboida Hydro Electric Power Station ‘a can of worms’

IT COULD take months to unscramble the can of worms that was opened with the proposal to close the Nymboida Hydro Electric Power Station.

In the attempts to privatise the NSW electricity network, the station's owner, Essential Energy, has moved away from electricity generation and into distribution.

Despite spending millions of dollars on repairs to the power station, after the flood damage sustained in early 2013, the company has decided to pull the plug.

The main stakeholders: Essential Energy, the NSW Government, Clarence Valley Council and the Nymboida Canoe Club began picking up the pieces at a series of meetings a few days after the State election.

Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson said it was way too early to say which way the discussions were heading.

"I think we have to reach agreement with at least nine government departments," he said.

"It's not just one can of worms, it's more like two."

Cr Williamson said it was unlikely the power station would re-open, but the future of whitewater canoeing in Goolang Creek was vital for the region's tourism industry.

"That's one outcome we are taking a real interest in," he said.

An Essential Energy spokeswoman said it has commenced discussions with Clarence Valley Council and the Nymboida Canoeing Club to transfer ownership of the Nymboida water licences and assets associated with water supply to the organisations that derive benefit from them.

Preliminary discussions were held on Tuesday, March 31 at separate meetings between Essential Energy and Clarence Valley Council, and Essential Energy and the Nymboida Canoeing Club. Key outcomes were that:

A Heads of Agreement will be constituted to determine arrangements for future operation of Nymboida water licences and supply assets.

A whole of government approach to funding will be required to maintain future asset ownership and operation.