Community groups are calling on Sussan Ley to clarify comments she made in The Australian newspaper today about dams. Environment Minister Ley told the paper she was “working with NSW to streamline the assessment of dam projects under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act”. She further added “I will directly review any dam project approvals which come under the EPBC Act and I will be making sure there are no unnecessary hold-ups.”
NSW Tourism Minster, Stuart Ayres, is lobbying the Federal Government to approve the raising of Warragamba Dam wall, which is currently being considered under the EPBC Act as it would flood 1,300 hectares of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. This is despite serious concerns voiced by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and the federal environment department that the dam would cause ‘extensive and significant’ damage to the Blue Mountains (find attached).
GIVE A DAM Campaigner, Harry Burkitt, called on Minister Ley to stand up to the bullying from the NSW Government and protect one of Australia’s most iconic world heritage sites.
“Sussan Ley needs to stop and think before she hands over any more power to the environmental vandals in the NSW Government. She needs to realize that doing so would likely end up putting the Blue Mountains on the World Heritage in Danger list, causing and severe international embarrassment.
“Regardless of whether the federal government decides to delegate approval to the NSW Government, the World Heritage Committee will be holding the Australian Government accountable.”
The GIVE A DAM Campaign has sought an urgent meeting with Sussan Ley to explain the serious impact raising the dam wall would have on the outstanding universal values to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
Attach to this media release is federal government departmental advice stating the project would have ‘extensive and significant impacts’ on the world heritage site.