The long awaited Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the raising of the Warragamba Dam wall has been released, with Wollondilly Council reaffirming its strong opposition to the plan as it prepares a submission to the NSW Government and encourages community members to have their say.
Council recently reiterated its strong opposition to the raising of the dam wall by up to 17 metres, due to expected loss of irreplaceable Aboriginal cultural heritage, the effects on biodiversity, heavy vehicle movements throughout much of the Shire and overall concerns about the impact on the Warragamba community and the management of such a large project.
The area that would be inundated as a consequence of the proposed raising of the existing Warragamba Dam wall is entirely located within the Wollondilly Local Government Area.
Mayor Robert Khan said, “We are concerned that our national parks, cultural sites and world heritage areas may be significantly damaged as a result of raising the Warragamba Dam wall.”
“We have a number of endangered species and ecological communities within the inundation area. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has raised similar concerns about the extent and frequency of flooding associated with the raising of the dam.”
“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.”
“Of course, 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. “Council will be engaging with the community on this important issue in the coming weeks, but in the meantime I encourage community members to have a look at the Environmental Impact Statement documents and have your say.”
Council has previously appeared at a Public Hearing into the proposal and joined forces with Blue Mountains Council to campaign on these issues in 2019.
The EIS will be exhibited for six weeks until 12 November 2021 on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment portal where the community can also make submissions.