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November 13, 2018

FOI documents reveal Warragamba Dam wall raising will have ‘extensive and significant impacts’ on Blue Mountains World Heritage

Federal Environment Department advisors have warned raising Warragamba Dam wall will have widespread and significant environmental impacts, a document obtained under freedom of information laws has revealed.

The document, titled “Key Sections for Advisors” and prepared by the Environment Standards Division, states the NSW Government proposal to raise Warragamba Dam wall:

“ likely to have extensive and significant impacts on listed threatened species and communities and world and national heritage values of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA).”

Harry Burkitt of the GIVE A DAM campaign said: “This is compelling evidence for the federal Environment Minister Melissa Price to refuse the dam proposal under federal environmental law.

“This freedom of information request shows the Federal Environment Department itself believes there will be serious impacts on the rivers, animals and wilderness of the iconic Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area if Warragamba Dam wall is raised.

“The NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton and Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres are pushing to build a dam the Federal Environment Department has said will cause extensive damage to the Blue Mountains World Heritage Site.

“The raising of Warragamba Dam wall should be shelved immediately. The world heritage status of the Blue Mountains should not be put at risk for the sake of floodplain over-development in western Sydney.”

NSW Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said: “This document highlights the risks to the environment when the Federal Government outsources its environmental assessment powers to the states.

“The Federal Government has a responsibility to protect areas of national environmental significance, like the Blue Mountains. But time and again it has handed assessment of major projects to the Berejiklian government, which has a record of putting development ahead of the environment.

“Putting the world heritage listing of an iconic site like the Blue Mountains at risk is unacceptable.”

Media contact:
Harry Burkitt
[email protected]
0490 010 909

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