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Senate Urges NSW Government To Extend Consultation With Traditional Owners On Warragamba Dam Proposal

Media Release
Mehreen Faruqi 12 Sep 2019

Australian Greens Senator for NSW, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has welcomed the Senate passing her motion calling on the NSW government to give Traditional Owners more time to respond to the Warragamba Dam proposal and to engage in genuine consultation with the community.

Senator Faruqi said: 

“Overwhelming community opposition to the Warragamba dam proposal at the very least warrants longer, genuine consultation from the NSW Government, but they have only been interested in appeasing developers while completely ignoring community concerns. 

“The raised dam would flood world heritage-listed areas of the Blue Mountains and a number of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage sites, yet Traditional Owners have not been given enough time to assess the impact of this proposal.

“Raising the Warragamba dam wall is a disastrous plan to drown thousands of hectares of World Heritage national park, destroy Aboriginal cultural and spiritual sites, and damage our internationally recognised wild rivers. It's time the NSW Government dropped the project,” she concluded. 

The Motion

I give notice that on the next day of sitting, I shall move—That the Senate:
1. Notes that:
        a. Traditional Owners have not been given enough time to assess the cultural heritage impact of a plan to raise the wall of Warragamba dam, with just 40 days to respond to a 2,000-page report.
        b. The raised dam would flood world heritage-listed areas of the Blue Mountains and a number of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage sites. 
         c. On 16 August 2019, 100 people gathered in the Blue Mountains village of Faulconbridge for a public meeting, where Traditional Owners spoke about the "inadequate and rushed cultural heritage assessment" for the Warragamba dam proposal. The meeting was organised by the Blue Mountains and Wollondilly councils.

2. Calls on the NSW government to give Traditional Owners more time to respond to the report and to engage in genuine consultation with the community on the Warragamba dam proposal.

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