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March 23, 2021

John Barilaro is right on Warragamba Dam

The Colong Foundation has today welcomed comments made by John Barilaro on Sky News that alternatives need be considered instead of raising the Warragamba Dam wall, which include keeping water levels at the dam lower during wet periods.

In an interview on Sky News, Mr Barilaro said that "it's the largest single project you will see in the world, raising a dam by 14 metres. It's an engineering feat that hasn't been seen before."
"There is a lot of debate around the heritage area and there is a lot of opposition."
"I think there are options. If you can't achieve the wall raising, then you have to look at other alternatives, and the other alternative would be to leave the water levels at a lower level and maybe consider desalination mark II. There are other solutions.
"There is a lot of detail of what is happening at Warragamba. It's not just an idea of releasing or building."
Harry Burkitt of the GIVE A DAM Campaign said the Deputy Premier was "spot on" and unlike Stuart Ayres, had clearly been listening to flood experts and not floodplain developers.
"We agree with John Barilaro that people's safety needs to be put ahead of floodplain development interests. Experts, including the former SES Deputy Director Chas Keys, and indeed leaked Government documents, have shown raising the dam wall would have almost no effect in stopping large floods (including present flooding).
"Big floods can't be stopped, no matter the height of the Warragamba Dam wall.
"We urge the NSW Government to dramatically improve evacuation routes and flood mitigation planning once the crisis has passed. Lowering the dam's level during wet periods is one of the alternatives that has been shown to work in smaller flood events by the University of Technology.
"Stuart Ayres' obscene politicking in the middle of a crisis shows callous disregard to the residents on the floodplain affected by decades of flood mitigation neglect."

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Australian Foundation for Wilderness Limited
ACN 001 112 143
ABN 84 001 112 143
Advocating as 'Wilderness Australia'
Formerly The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd
Registered Office 8/154 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000
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