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Dam funding - Motion

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
11 October 2023

I oppose the motion moved by the Hon. Sarah Mitchell about building dams. The policy that the Coalition, particularly the National Party, has put forward every single year for 12 years and longer all through the country is to build more dams. But in 2019 the National Party at both the State and Federal levels announced in Tamworth $1 billion for multiple new dam projects.

The Hon. Sam Farraway talks about having a plan and about getting on with water plans. The Nationals announced dams in 2019 worth $1 billion. The Hon. Sam Farraway says, "Business cases? Who cares about business cases for $1 billion for dams?" In the last term of Parliament in this House I think we made five orders for papers to try to uncover that elusive business case—a draft or just some kind of business case—for the Dungowan Dam, a new $460 million dam that went up to $1.2 billion, according to the papers. The original cost of raising the Wyangala Dam wall was $640 million. It rose to more than $2 billion, but still there were no business cases.

The Hon. Sam Farraway seems to think that there is no need for a business case and that $1 billion can be wheeled out for those dams—dams that were never built because they were ridiculous, too expensive, not worthwhile for communities and environmentally disastrous. I flew over the Lower Lachlan flood plain to see the impact that raising the Wyangala Dam wall would have on the incredible internationally listed wetlands, the graziers on the Lower Lachlan flood plain and the Wiradjuri cultural heritage sites, which would be flooded. It was just ridiculous. Tonight the National Party is bringing forward its solution that was sitting on the table for the entire last term. At budget estimates I asked the Liberal Party Treasurer what he thought about those dam projects. He was embarrassed because he realised there was no business case. He was shaking his head because what was he going to do about the National Party? He could not control the National Party, which just throws a billion dollars towards the most ridiculous proposals that are not solutions—dams.

 




TEXT OF THE MOTION: 

The Hon. SARAH MITCHELL:

(1) That this House notes that: 

(a) the Government has scrapped plans to construct a new Dungowan Dam, as well as plans to increase the Wyangala Dam wall and Warragamba Dam wall; and 

(b) increasingly dry conditions are being experienced across New South Wales, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting reduced rainfall in the months ahead. 

(2) That this House acknowledges that you cannot put a price on food and water security for our towns and cities. 

(3) That this House urges the Government to work with the Commonwealth Government to allocate additional resources and funding for dams in New South Wales. 

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
11 October 2023
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