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October 10, 2019

Stuart Ayres attacks former SES Director over Warragamba Dam

Minister for Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, has today attacked the former NSW SES Deputy Director, Dr Chas Keys, over NSW Liberal Government plans to raise Warragamba Dam, with Minister Ayres dismissing his advice in the Sydney Morning Herald as “illogical”.

Dr Keys said that Mr Ayres should “do his research” before taking on flood experts who have been on the frontline of flood rescues for the last 30 years.

 “The NSW Government has said on page 3 of its Hawkesbury-Nepean Flood Risk Management Strategy (2017) that it plans to double the floodplain population over the next 30 years. This same strategy also recommends that Warragamba Dam wall be raised. As such, raising the dam wall is an extremely dangerous proposition, given it is clearly being used to justify more floodplain development.

“We are dealing with people’s lives here and dismissing expert advice because it doesn’t suit his political agenda is very dangerous.”

Richmond floodplain resident, Venecia Wilson, said the voices of western Sydney floodplain residents were not being listened to in the dam debate.

“We are fed up with the massive “at any cost” over-development agenda being driven through Western Sydney. Our communities are already being put at increased risk with poor flood evacuation infrastructure – now the NSW Liberals want to put up the dam wall so even more people can be pumped into dangerous parts of the floodplain. It’s bad planning being driven by political agendas.

“We are sick of it, and its time the NSW Government take the advice of SES flood experts.”

Media contacts:
Harry Burkitt: 0490 010 909
Dr Chas Keys: 0427 940 000
Venecia Wilson: 0401 210 542

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