On 26 September the NSW Government directed the Standing Committee on State Development to inquire into the Water NSW Amendment (Warragamba Dam) Bill 2018.
The long title of the Bill is: An Act to amend the Water NSW Act 2014 to make provision with respect to the temporary inundation of national park land resulting from the raising of the wall of Warragamba Dam and the operation of the dam for downstream flood mitigation purposes.
The bill was referred to the committee due to concerns that the proposal to raise the dam wall that could impact on Aboriginal sites and the Blue Mountains World Heritage area.
The committee undertook an abridged inquiry process within a two-week turnaround time, and invited the participation of stakeholders and members of the community.
FMA has previously provided comments on proposals to reduce the very real risks of catastrophic flooding to communities of Western Sydney, and has provided input to the development of the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy.
FMA provided a submission to this review affirming FMA's support for the Flood Risk Management Strategy, and position that the dam wall needs to be raised to provide an acceptable level of community safety.
The committee's report was tabled on 10 October, and is available at the State Development Committee's website.
FMA Land Use Planning Director Paul Grech said the report contains important information for floodplain managers and planners working in Western Sydney about the consequences of raising Warragamba Dam wall for planning controls and limiting expectations for expansion of the urban footprint.