National Party’s Dud Dams Axed
News that the NSW Government will not proceed with two controversial new dam projects will be a huge relief for downstream communities including First Nations peoples, says Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and spokesperson for water.
The Australian reported today that officials close to the projects stated that Mole River in the state’s north is set to not go due to concerns with its economic viability and lack of community support, and the plan to raise the Wyangala Dam wall is ‘indefinitely postponed because of the increasing cost of biodiversity offsets.
Cate Faehrmann chaired an inquiry into the Government’s Dam Infrastructure Projects which cast doubt on the economic viability of the dams and their potential social and environmental impacts.
“These National Party duds have been a terrible idea from the outset. This is a huge win for the environment and for downstream communities who would have been terribly impacted by these projects,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“The Government has been unable to bring a business case forward for either of these projects because they just don’t stack up. These dams were set to provide marginal if any increases in water security at an outrageous price.
“While the likely scrapping of these two projects is great news, it is very concerning to hear that Dungowan Dam is likely to proceed. These three projects were announced in the one breath, with no business case or rationale other than to secure National Party electorates. Dungowan Dam is as much a dud as the other two, and in fact the Productivity Commission even singled it out as such.
“This is typical of water management under the National Party with years wasted on white elephant projects while regional NSW is no closer to achieving water security in the face of a hotter and drier future.
“The Water Minister now needs to go back to the drawing board and consider non-infrastructure options like water recycling and efficiency projects.
“The Premier has committed to bringing greater transparency to the distribution of state funds. I call on him to reform the processes that allowed the National Party to make election promises worth billions of taxpayer dollars for unsustainable dam projects with no rationale,” said Ms Faehrmann.