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July 30, 2019

Gundungurra people reject Government Cultural Assessment on Warragamba Dam Raising

We, the Gundungurra people of the southern Blue Mountains, are launching own campaign against the NSW Government's survey assessment (released to us earlier this month) on the raising of Warragamba Dam wall. 

Raising Warragamba Dam wall would be a wrecking ball through the heart of our people and culture, flooding hundreds of cultural sites including waterholes, cave paintings, scar trees and ceremonial sites. The recommendations of the Government's cultural assessment on the dam project are insulting, inadequate and are simply attempting to justify the destruction of our culture, it's sites and our dreaming stories forever.

The NSW Government report is so poor that even the Government's own initial methodology given to our people last year has not been fulfilled, with 74% of the area that will be flooded by the raised dam (equating to over 4000 hectares of National Park) not being surveyed, despite this area being identified in their methodology.
The 26% surveyed is an insufficient and incomplete sample of the affected area. This small area does not adequately represent the vast amounts of our cultural story that will be lost. 

The Gundungurra people have been let down and left out of the reporting writing process. We now see a report that is unclear, scientifically inaccurate and unethical. The report does not respect, recognise or include Gundungurra cultural landscapes or understanding. Further, the NSW Government's mediation measures (including the removal of 300 year old scar trees) are culturally insensitive and have no substance.

We will be continuing our fight against the NSW Government's culturally destructive dam plan, and call on the Federal Government to stop this dam and the tragedy it promises to inflict on Country and people through the World Heritage Convention. 

Statement from Gundungurra community leaders.
Media contacts:
Kazan Brown (Traditional Owner)
0424 789 140
Sharyn Halls (Traditional Owner & Elder)
0428 270 594

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