After explosive Federal Government leaks in the ABC on Saturday, Traditional Owners from Western Sydney have reiterated that they do not give Free, Prior and Informed Consent for the Warragamba Dam wall raising to proceed in a letter to Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt.
It was revealed in the document leaked to the ABC
that the Federal Government had recently requested the NSW Government gain the consent of Traditional Owners for the dam proposal to proceed. The document said:
"There is a lack of clear evidence that a process to ascertain free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) has occurred with Traditional Owners and other Indigenous persons with rights or interests in the project area... a consistent theme in the public comments is that opposition or concerns may have not been effectively addressed. Best practice is that the proponent provides clear evidence that Traditional Owners and other Indigenous persons with rights or interests have had opportunity to have their concerns voiced, appropriately heard, and answered clearly and transparently."
In response, Traditional Gundungurra Owner Kazan Brown, said:
"We have now written to the Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians and the NSW Premier, stating that we do not give 'free prior and informed consent' for the project to proceed. This makes it abundantly clear to all levels of government that Indigenous communities whose land this dam proposal would impact upon do not support the proposal proceeding.
"If the proposal to raise the Warragamba Dam wall continues to proceed, the NSW Government and its agencies will now be acting in contravention to the wishes of Traditional Owners, the Federal Government and the World Heritage Committee."
Full media release here.