Blue Mountains Mayor: Warragamba Dam EIS could mean end to World Heritage listing
Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, has condemned the release of the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the raising of the Warragamba Dam wall.
“Let’s be clear. This could spell the end of the World Heritage listing for the Blue Mountains. It’s as simple as that,” Mayor Greenhill said.
“As outlined today by the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, after four years in which we have seen ongoing protests from Traditional Owners, opposition by UNESCO, condemnation by expert consultants, opposition from the Australian insurance industry, and even objection from the Deputy Premier, the NSW Government has now allowed this exhibition of the EIS to proceed".
“The raising of the Warragamba Dam will destroy World Heritage listed wilderness on Sydney’s doorstep and desecrate Indigenous heritage and threatened biodiversity. Why? To satisfy the NSW Government’s unrelenting quest to reach housing targets in Western Sydney.”
Council formally opposed the NSW Government’s proposal in January 2019, noting that the proposal posed serious and irreparable damage to Gundungurra Country.
In 2020, Blue Mountains City Council celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Greater Blue Mountains region being granted World Heritage.
“Sites which are protected under the UNESCO World Heritage List are defined as have cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of importance for… all humanity,” Mayor Greenhill said.
“If the raising of the Warragamba Dam walls occurs, this part of our precious World Heritage Area will be lost forever.
“The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has already asserted that the raising of the dam would be incompatible with World Heritage status and ‘likely to impact on its Outstanding Universal Value’.
“The EIS is fundamentally flawed,” Mayor Greenhill said. “Just one quarter of the impact area has been surveyed for its Aboriginal cultural significance. Impacts to threatened species have only been considered for one quarter of the impact area.
“It’s just ludicrous and makes a mockery of the significance of this area.
“Managing an area of such spectacular natural beauty and cultural importance, is both a privilege and a unique responsibility. It cannot be destroyed for housing development.”
Join the campaign to stop the raising of the Warragamba Dam wall. Go to https://www.giveadam.org.au/.
Photo: Mayor Mark Greenhill.