Why did they do an additional report?
The NSW Government has this week released a report that sets out changes to the proposal based on feedback on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Warragamba Dam wall raising and is asking the public to make submissions. The report is called a 'Preferred Infrastructure Report', and accompanies another document called a 'Response to Submissions'. It is vital that you make a submission so that the NSW Government knows the community does not support this destructive dam project.
What should I say in this submission?
Your submission can be long, short, or any length you like! The most important thing is that your submission is in your own words. It is helpful for your submission to follow the general ‘P.F.P’ structure. That is:
- Position: Do you oppose the dam? If so, say so, and explain why.
Facts: What are the facts that you see as relevant for the Minister to consider when making his decision to raise the dam wall or not?
- Personal: What is your connection to the issue? Have you been bushwalking in the Blue Mountains? Do you live in Western Sydney and are affected by floodplain development?
Below we have included some facts and arguments for you to consider while writing your submission.
The report dismisses previous community concerns
- The report has all but dismissed the concerns raised in 2,500 community and government agency submissions to the initial EIS in 2021, and in some cases expert submissions were not even addressed
- The report has announced NSW Government intention's to ignore the advice of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee by changing the boundaries of the Blue Mountains National Park World Heritage Area.
- The serious concerns held by Sydney Water and Health NSW about the effects the dam project would have on Sydney's drinking water quality have been dismissed in the report.
The report justifies the destruction of our World Heritage
The report has attempted to downplay the destruction of World Heritage and National Parks. An estimated 65 kilometres of wilderness rivers, and 5,700 hectares of National Parks, 1,300 hectares of which is within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, would be inundated by the Dam project. This includes:
- The Kowmung River - declared a ‘Wild River’, protected for its pristine condition under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974;
- Unique eucalyptus species diversity recognised as having Outstanding Universal Value under the area’s World Heritage listing such as the Camden White Gum;
- A number of Threatened Ecological Communities, notably Grassy Box Woodland;
- Habitat for endangered and critically endangered species including the Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater and Sydney’s last Emu population.
Traditional Owners again ignored
- The report has again disregarded the concerns of Traditional Owners, not including important information about sacred sites that would be flooded.
- Over 1541 identified cultural heritage sites would be inundated by the Dam proposal.
- The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Report has been severely and repeatedly criticised by both the Australian Department of Environment and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) for not appropriately assessing cultural heritage in meaningful consultation with Gundungurra community members.
Alternatives to raising Warragamba Dam wall dismissed
- There are alternative options to raising the Warragamba Dam wall that would protect existing floodplain communities. A combined approach of multiple options has been recommended as the most cost-effective means of flood risk mitigation.
- Alternative options were not assessed in the EIS. No Any assessment of alternatives does not take into account the economic benefits that would offset the initial cost of implementation.
- On average, 45% of floodwaters are derived from areas outside of the upstream Warragamba Dam catchment. This means that no matter how high the dam wall is constructed, it will not be able to prevent flooding in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley downstream.
When must your submission be made by?
Your submission must reach the Department before the close of the exhibition period on midnight 12 December 2022.
How will your personal information be used by the Department when you make a submission?
- Your personal information may be published online, including:
- Your submission;
- Your name (unless you state that you want your name withheld);
- Your suburb; and
- Any political donations disclosure statement.
- The Department may publish any personal information you have included in your submission unless you tell it there is personal information you do not want us to publish. Do not include any personal information in your submission that you do not want published.
- By making a submission, you are acknowledging and accepting the Department’s disclaimer on submissions and accepting the submission declaration, which can be viewed here.
- For more information, view the Department's Privacy Statement.