West Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres welcomed the release of the document, which is thousands of pages long.
“This is an important step in the delivery of the elevation of the Warragamba dam wall,” he said.
“It is a complete, if not exhaustive, environmental impact statement.”
Interested locals have until November 12 to review the documents and submit their comments.
The Wollondilly Council will hold a special meeting on Friday October 8 to discuss the EIA.
Colong Foundation for Wilderness chief executive Harry Burkitt called the publication of the document “just the latest act in the ongoing political farce.”
âAfter four years in which we have seen prolific government leaks, opposition from the Australian insurance industry, protests from traditional owners, condemnation by expert consultants, hostility from UNESCO and the objection from the [now former] Deputy Prime Minister, the government of New South Wales has now authorized Minister Stuart Ayres to conduct the exhibition, âhe said.
âThe project would nonetheless greatly benefit Stuart Ayres’ plans to develop large areas of the Hawkesbury-Nepean floodplain.
âThe rise of the Warragamba Dam is the most profound attack on Australia’s World Heritage in decades. Planning Minister Rob Stokes acknowledged this in his decision to downgrade the project’s national planning importance.
“The EIS is a document littered with untruths and undercooked numbers that attempt to justify the destruction of priceless native heritage and some of Australia’s most endangered species.”
Meanwhile, the Property Council of Australia called for the wall to be erected “as soon as possible” after the publication of the EIA.
West Sydney council director Ross Grove said the project would have a “vital role” in protecting floodplain communities.
“For this to be effective, it is important that the raised part is never used for general storage,” he said.
“We will seek this assurance from the government and ask that conditions be placed on any approval to ensure that this happens.
âProviding the right mix of flood infrastructure today is an important part of protecting our communities tomorrow.
âThe government will have to be swift and decisive in delivering the wall and supporting infrastructure if we are to protect homes, communities and lives. “
Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle said the document was “a long way off” in its assessment of the true impacts of the environment and Indigenous cultural heritage.
“I am scandalized that this proposal to raise the wall of the Warragamba dam is still under consideration,” she said.
“I remember vividly when … Stuart Ayres stood in the flood plains and proudly declared that there would be development as far as the eye could see, which raises serious doubts as to the real motivation behind this project.”
An Upper House committee released an interim report on the proposal to raise the Warragamba Dam wall and recommended that the NSW government give more consideration to the alternatives, with more emphasis on improving evacuation routes and reducing the number of people and businesses at risk in the floodplain.
The committee recommended not to continue the project without the free, prior and informed consent of the registered indigenous parties and unless the future integrity of the Great Blue Mountains World Heritage area can be assured.