Independent NSW MLC Justin Field and Chair of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the proposal to raise the Warragamba Dam wall has described the Environment Impact Statement released by the NSW Government as “totally inadequate” and called on the NSW Government to look at alternatives to the project.
"Raising the dam wall will destroy thousands of hectares of World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains National Park and threatened species habitat, drown significant Aboriginal Cultural Heritage sites and will not prevent future major floods in the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley.
"The insurance industry, Aboriginal groups, emergency management experts, water scientists, and environmentalists have all been calling for the Government to look at alternatives to the dam wall raising, but the Government has ignored those calls and is pushing ahead with assessment of this damaging and hugely expensive project.
"This EIS is totally inadequate. Water NSW has clearly failed to address the myriad of concerns raised by NSW and Commonwealth Government agencies in leaked comments on earlier drafts of the report. This is particularly the case regarding the assessment of biodiversity offsets and the impact of the 2019/20 fires, and the loss of World Heritage and Cultural Heritage values in the area upstream that will be flooded by this project.
"There is also deep concern within the community that this proposal is more about opening up parts of the floodplain to increased development than addressing the genuine flood risk in the valley.
"The 4000 page EIS has taken over 4 years for the Government to complete but the community will have just 45 days to respond.
"I look forward to future hearings of the Parliamentary Inquiry into this project, which I am chairing, to deeply interrogate the flaws in this EIS, Mr Field said.”