Wollondilly Council makes Submission to Dam Wall Raising Inquiry
Wollondilly Council has made a submission to the NSW Upper House Inquiry into the Proposal to raise the Warragamba Dam Wall, highlighting the cultural significance of Aboriginal sites and European heritage in the Burragorang Valley as well as potential ecological impacts.
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.
Council has heard from the community about the feared loss of cultural heritage, both Gundungurra and European, the effects on biodiversity and the overall concerns about the impact on the Warragamba community and the management of such a large project.
Council’s Manager Environment, Alexandra Stengl 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 requested that significantly more time and resources be allocated to Aboriginal and early European heritage surveys as part of the dam raising Environmental Impact Statement”.
Council’s concerns about the ecological impacts focus on 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 submission raises the need to consider the effect of the project on the Warragamba community. Council had previously requested that an analysis and planning for the management of impacts on the town during the construction phase be undertaken, including the implications of truck movements on the narrow roads.
Council has requested to appear before the Select Committee that is enquiring into and reporting on the Government’s proposal for the dam at a Public Hearing on 20 November.
Wollondilly has joined forces with Blue Mountains Council to campaign on these issues and a Community Forum is planned for 10 November.