Skip navigation
July 22, 2020

MEDIA RELEASE: Leaks show Minister Ayres attempts to bend environment rules for Warragamba Dam project

The Sydney Morning Herald has today revealed leaked documents that show Minister for Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, and his bureaucrats are attempting to duck environmental regulations requiring offsetting for the damage that raising Warragamba Dam wall would cause to the world heritage forests of the southern Blue Mountains.

The draft environmental impact study (EIS) compiled by WaterNSW proposes the effects of potentially inundating more than 5000 hectares of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area be treated "as an indirect impact" which mean Water NSW would not be required to offset the damage to the world heritage property and countless Aboriginal cultural sites.

This approach, though, was recently rebuffed by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, which said in a separate leaked document supplied to the Herald, "the rationale and conclusion for considering all upstream impacts from temporary inundation as indirect impacts is not supported." 

The department was also dismissive of WaterNSW's suggested strategy of monitoring effects of flooding and providing compensation if impacts are identified. "Given the lack of surveys so far, impacts will generally not be able to be detected".

Harry Burkitt, Colong Foundation Campaign Manager, said:

"Stuart Ayres is a rogue minister with a bunch of rogue bureaucrats who are attempting to disregard government regulation so they can destroy hundreds of Aboriginal cultural sites and over 1,000 hectares of UNESCO listed Koala habitat.

"WaterNSW knows if they pay what the law requires of them for environmental offsetting – which is over $1 billion – it would blow the dam project's business case out of the water.

"The NSW Cabinet needs to bring Minister Ayres and his rogue bureaucrats under control and force them to follow proper government processes.

“What they are doing is in direct contravention to the Federal Government's obligations under the World Heritage Convention and is a clear example of why the Federal Parliament should not be allowing the delegation of environmental decisions to the state governments.

Continue Reading

Read More

Make a submission on the Redbank Power Station before 11th April

April 09, 2024

The threat of biomass burning has resurfaced in NSW. Verdant Earth Technologies (Verdant) is proposing to re-open the Redbank Power Station (near Singleton, NSW) to operate as a biomass power station, using trees cleared on farms under woefully weak land clearing laws.

Read more

Greater gliders pushed closer towards extinction

February 06, 2024

Without warning the EPA has made changes to the NSW logging protocols that have scrapped the need to find and protect all den trees with a 50m logging exclusion zone. This weakening of protocols could mean the accelerated extinction of greater gliders in NSW.

Read more

Stay informed

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
Built by Code Nation using NationBuilder
Design by Think Creative Agency and Guy Threlfo