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Raising Dam Wall Critical Says Premier

A proposal to raise the Warragamba Dam wall by 14 metres has been declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI).

Premier Dominic Perrott said the project is deemed essential to NSW for economic and social reasons saying the proposal to raise the Dam wall would save lives, save properties and would help future-proof Western Sydney from flood risks.

“First and foremost my number one priority as Premier is protecting NSW communities and we know from the independent flood inquiry that the best way to protect communities downstream is to raise the wall,” he said.

“This declaration reinforces that raising the dam wall is the most effective long-term flood mitigation strategy to help protect residents across the Hawkesbury-Nepean. This region has been hit hard by floods and we are committed to progressing this important project to make sure residents have genuine flood protection into the future.”

Hawkesbury MP, Robyn Preston said that raising the Dam wall will provide a flood defence for the residents of Hawkesbury.

“This announcement puts people first. It is about protecting lives, people’s homes, property, businesses, farmers, their stock and the infrastructure that is severely damaged by floods.”

Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said the CSSI declaration would not impact the rigorous assessment and stake holder scrutiny the proposal would need to go through.

WaterNSW will respond to the feedback and issues raised in submissions and its Preferred Infrastructure Report, before a comprehensive assessment is undertaken in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

There have already been about 2,000 submissions to Water NSW regarding the proposal to raise the dam wall.

Some critics are concerned about the heritage impact and environmental impact of raising the dam wall and others that the project will allow more development in flood prone areas.

Opposition leader Chris Minns has said the costs for the proposed project are “astronomical” saying “ 45 per cent of floodwaters do not come over the top of Warragamba, they come down the Grose, Colo and Nepean Rivers.”

He said it was important not to increase the population living on the floodplains.

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