A proposed 14-metre extension to the Warragamba Dam wall in Western Sydney has been declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) for its potential to mitigate against future floods.
New South Wales Premier, Dominic Perrottet, said 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,” Mr Perrottet 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.”
WaterNSW has received recent criticism for failing to address environmental concerns in its environmental impact assessment for the dam wall extension, which could result in damage to the greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area.
WaterNSW said it 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.
State Minister for Lands and Water, Kevin Anderson, said the importance of the dam was highlighted in the recently released Greater Sydney Water Strategy.
“In a flood similar to the worst on record in the valley, the number of homes impacted would drop threefold from 15,500 to 5,000, while 14,000 people would need to be evacuated rather than 90,000. The cost of damages would also be reduced by up to $8 billion,” Mr Anderson said.