If plans to raise the wall at Warragamba Dam go ahead, 200 trucks a day would inundate Wollondilly Shire during the construction phase.
That alone would be reason enough to oppose the state government proposal, but Wollondilly Council says there’s more where that came from.
Responding to the announcement that the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) for the raising of the Warragamba Dam wall has been released, the local council says it is strongly opposed – for a number of reasons.
“The impact on the Wollondilly Shire during the construction phase alone will be disastrous, with over 200 trucks a day heading to Warragamba and many of these travelling through Tahmoor, Picton, up through The Oaks and Silverdale to get to the dam,’’ says mayor Robert Khan.
The raising of the dam wall by up to 17 metres would also result in the loss of Aboriginal cultural heritage and damage biodiversity across the Shire.
Council says the area that would be inundated is entirely located within Wollondilly.
“We are concerned that our national parks, cultural sites and world heritage areas may be significantly damaged,’’ says Cr Khan.
“We have a number of endangered species and ecological communities within the inundation area.’’
He said the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has raised similar concerns about the extent and frequency of flooding associated with the raising of the dam.
“We are particularly concerned that the future flooding of the Burragorang Valley caused by the raising of the wall will destroy unique Gundungurra sites and wipe out more of our indigenous heritage,” he said.
Wollondilly Council has previously appeared at a public hearing into the proposal and also joined forces with Blue Mountains Council to campaign on these issues in 2019.
The EIS public exhibition period provides the community and other stakeholders with a full understanding of what is proposed and an opportunity to make a formal submission.
WaterNSW will host a web portal and a series of webinars and will make available the EIS, videos, animations, fact sheets and FAQs, as well as a virtual engagement room where people can source a broad range of information.
All submissions received will be considered and a response to submissions report will be prepared and made publicly available as part of the next stage of the proposal.
The EIS will be on exhibition until Friday, November 12. For information on briefing sessions, details on making a submission and other information on the EIS process visit: https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/project/10571