The NSW Government plans to raise the wall of the Warragamba Dam by 17 metres so developers can build houses on low lying floodplains.
By raising the dam wall, it will flood wild rivers and other important bushwalking areas west of Sydney. More than 1,000 sites of immense cultural, national and historical significance in the Burragorang Valley, like Indigenous cave art, occupation and burial sites, will drown beneath silty waters.
Raising the dam wall would also inundate the Lower sections of Kowmung River, a NSW state declared Wild River with pristine ecological values, 6,000 hectares of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Parks, and further endanger already threatened species like the Regent Honeyeater and the Camden White Gum.
The NSW Government says this scheme will protect houses in the Hawkesbury-Nepean valley from flooding. Yet, almost half of the flooding in the valley comes from waters that are not controlled by the Warragamba Dam.
This is a billion-dollar project – funded by tax-payers – that will helps property developers build many more homes on the western Sydney floodplains; a disastrous outcome for families, our native forests, and for the wild rivers we love to explore.
The initial draft of this impact assessment was heavily condemned by several of the government’s own agencies.
National Parks and Wildlife said it failed to address the way raising the dam wall will impact on species and ecological communities affected by last year’s bushfires.
Heritage NSW said it did not properly consider cultural heritage values of the surveyed area, nor was there sufficient consultation with traditional owners.
The Commonwealth Environment Department said the evaluation failed to consider how raising the dam wall would impact on iconic species like the platypus; going so far as to tell the state government to redo the entire heritage assessment.
It’s hard to believe that the NSW Government refused to redo this work and has carried out no further field studies since receiving those severe criticisms.
This is the most significant threat to Australia’s World Heritage areas in decades. There are few times in Australian history when Governments have undertaken such callous attacks on protected areas.
Friend, the time to act is now! The EIS for this project is only being exhibited for a few more weeks, concluding on November 12. Will you help us fight this attack on our natural world by making a submission?
Making a submission about the EIS is easy with the Colong Foundation’s online submission guide. It contains suggested objections to include in your submission, as well as shows you how to navigate the NSW Government’s Planning Portal. The National Parks Association of NSW have also passed on key tools and information.
Please also consider supporting the Colong Foundation’s ongoing campaign through a tax-deductible donation to protect the Blue Mountains and its World Heritage listed wild rivers. By making a donation, you’ll help Australia's longest-serving advocate for wilderness to protect the pristine places we all love to explore.
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