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June 13, 2019

Leaked document reveals dam to have “permanent” impact on world heritage

In a leaked document provided to the herald today it has been revealed raising Warragamba Dam wall would result in an “overall high direct (physical) impact” to the world-famous area.

The leaked environmental impact statement reveals 1300 hectares of world heritage listed Blue Mountains bushland would be permanently damaged by floodwaters if the Warragamba Dam is raised – twice the figure that has been publicly stated by Minister Stuart Ayres and WaterNSW.

The bushland lying within the proposed temporary inundation area would be “permanently” affected in the event of a significant flood, the document states.

It adds there were no proposed measures to avoid or reduce the level of impact to the area.

GIVE A DAM community group organiser Harry Burkitt accused the government of underplaying the impact of the plans.

“The world heritage area impacted is more than 4.5 times Sydney’s CBD – more than double what Ministry Ayres has admitted to Parliament and the public.”

“This report shows that the NSW government has known all along that raising Warragamba Dam would have significant impacts on the iconic Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, yet they have chosen to hide it from the public and UNESCO,” Mr Burkitt said.

“The world is watching Australia - and the Federal Government needs to act and stop this developer driven dam project. It would be nothing other than a national disgrace if the Australian Government approved the dam and the Blue Mountains lost its world heritage status.

“It is disturbing that thousands more hectares of the world heritage area could be destroyed given previously leaked plans to raise the dam by 17 metres. The environmental assessment has already proven itself defective for both UNESCO and Indigenous communities. The NSW Government needs to now go back to the drawing board on this project.”

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