Community Forum to highlight what's at stake in raising Warragamba Dam wall

Community Forum to highlight what's at stake in raising Warragamba Dam wall

Posted on: 28.10.2019

A Community Forum on the proposed raising of the Warragamba Dam wall will be held in the Blue Mountains on Sunday, 10 November, with special guest speaker former NSW Environment Minister The Hon Bob Debus AM.

The forum will be hosted jointly by the Mayors of Blue Mountains and Wollondilly Shire councils. The councils have formed an alliance to oppose the NSW Government’s proposal to raise the Warragamba Dam wall, coming together to protect people, property and wilderness.

Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said: “Everyone loses if they raise the dam wall. It will not protect people currently living on the floodplain and their property. There are better ways to mitigate flood and the Government knows that. This is a tactical move to open the floodplain up to rampant development, at the expense of indigenous culture and World Heritage wilderness.”

Wollondilly Shire Council Mayor Matthew Deeth said: “The Community Forum will highlight what is at stake with the Government’s proposal, namely breach of Native Title Agreements and the compromising of Native Title; irreversible loss of Aboriginal cultural values; loss of UNESCO World Heritage listing; extinction of threatened plants and animals, such as the Regent Honeyeater; destruction of the last Wild Rivers in NSW and the risk to quality of life for residents.”

Bob Debus is well qualified to speak about the proposal to raise the Warragamba Dam wall; he is Australia’s longest serving Environment Minister and also oversaw the largest ever expansion and re-equipment of emergency services across NSW. Mr Debus was NSW Environment Minister when the Blue Mountains was conferred World Heritage status and recently travelled to Azerbaijan to address the United Nation’s UNESCO World Heritage Committee about the jeopardy the NSW Government’s plan puts the Greater Blue Mountains in.

Other speakers on the day include Gundungurra Elder Aunty Sharyn Halls, Give a Dam manager Harry Burkitt and urban sustainability campaigner Saul Deane, from the Total Environment Centre. This group that has worked for more than 40 years to preserve ecosystems that support living landscapes and healthy communities across Australia.

There will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions of the speakers at the event.  The event will also be streamed live.

The forum is free to attend and will be held 9.30-11.30am, Sunday 10 November at the Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub, 104 Macquarie Road, Springwood.

Photo: Wollondilly Shire Council Mayor Matthew Deeth and Blue Mountains City Mayor Mark Greenhill.