• Tony Bosworth

Raising Warragamba Dam wall a threat to Blue Mountains status says international nature body

The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) latest report just out has listed the Blue Mountains as being of “significant concern” following devastating bush fires and the possibility of the Warragamba Dam wall being raised.

Raising the wall has been touted by the NSW government as a way to lessen the risk of flooding in the Hawkesbury.

“As anyone who has been in the Hawkesbury for several floods knows, raising the dam wall won’t stop downstream flooding from other rivers and streams that feed into the flood plain,” Macquarie MP Susan Templeman told the Post.

“The international community saw how last season’s bushfires devastated our area, and has already expressed deep concern about the plans to raise the Warragamba Dam wall, so the downgrading of the Blue Mountains area [in the IUCN report] sadly comes as no real surprise,” MP Susan Templeman says.

“Our World Heritage area – which is the drawcard for so many visitors and the basis of our tourist economy - suffered enormous damage and will take years to recover, and parts may not recover at all.

“So while international bodies such as the IUCN and Commonwealth bodies such as the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment can recognise the threats faced by the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage region, it seems the NSW Liberal Government remains determined to destroy a sizeable chunk of it in order for the benefit of developers on the floodplain.

“The determination to ride rough-shod over the environmental approvals process simply to put 134,000 more people onto already overcrowded flood plains means people will still be exposed to the worst and most dangerous floods, while the environment and indigenous cultural heritage is destroyed,” said Ms Templeman.

“It’s an inconvenient truth the NSW Liberal Government simply doesn’t want to hear, and they are failing to put in place urgently needed measures to help people evacuate, including fully funding a flood-resilient bridge and approaches at North Richmond.”

Pic: Emma Gabriel

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