The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the international body that advises the World Heritage Committee on cultural heritage, has expressed grave concern about the impacts raising Warragamba Dam wall would have on the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
It claims that these plans will breach Australia’s responsibilities under the World Heritage Convention.
Ian Travers, president of Australia ICOMOS said: “Under Article 4 of the World Heritage Convention, Australia is obliged [among other things] to do all it can, using the utmost of its own resources, to identify, protect, and conserve the cultural and natural heritage of Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
“Neither the decision making process for the proposed raising of the Warragamba Dam wall, nor the pre-emptive proposed NSW enabling legislation comply with these obligations.”
This comes after a freedom of information yesterday revealed the Federal Department of Energy and Environment believed raising Warragamba Dam wall would cause “extensive and significant impacts” to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
Harry Burkitt from the GIVE A DAM campaign said: “We are at a historic point for environmental protection in NSW. Not only do we see the NSW Government ignore advice from the federal environment department, but we now see the NSW Government ignore the advice from a United Nations World Heritage advisory body.”
“It has become clear the NSW Government has no regard for protecting the state’s natural assets. The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is one of the most protected areas in Australia, yet the NSW Government are now seeking to destroy it.
“Rest assured there will be a relentless national campaign leading into the state and federal elections to stop this proposal from proceeding. Destruction of such an iconic world heritage site for the sake of floodplain over development in western Sydney will not be tolerated by the Australian public.”
A letter from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) to the Federal Environment Minister, Melissa Price, and the NSW Environment Minister, Gabrielle Upton, is attached to this media release.
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