Warragamba expert self-commented on research changes

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Ms Musgrave – who produced a biodiversity offset cost for the project of around $ 2 billion – proved that WaterNSW wanted certain impacts caused by flooding to be classified as indirect rather than direct, an assessment that could have an impact on the amount paid under the program.

A leak of correspondence reveals that WaterNSW also wanted the terminology of Ms Musgrave’s research changed from ‘likely’ to ‘could’ affect dozens of plant and animal species threatened through upstream flooding.

Dr Ross Crates says parts of his findings on the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater have been watered down. Credit:Parliament of New South Wales

Ms Musgrave said her report had been reviewed by government agencies, which supported her assessment, but that did not change WaterNSW’s position. She said she asked SMEC to have her name removed from the report, a request that was denied.

“I felt that I just had to inform the DPIE (the Ministry of Planning, Industry and Environment) of what had happened, just to protect my own accreditation and my professional reputation,” he said. she declared. Ms Musgrave then resigned, in part due to disagreement over her EA.

“In different circumstances, I would have liked to provide a scientifically sound and legally compliant report that properly assesses the impacts of the proposed dam raising,” she said.

WaterNSW said in a statement that the HIA process was “strictly governed” by multiple laws and regulations, and subject to review by the State and Commonwealth government, “to ensure that the assessment work and consultation was fully compliant and met the highest standards “.

The NSW government is proposing to raise the Warragamba Dam wall to protect residents downstream from flooding.

The NSW government is proposing to raise the Warragamba Dam wall to protect residents downstream from flooding.Credit:Brook mitchell

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes, who is responsible for reviewing the EIS, said at a recent parliamentary hearing that he expected any concerns raised about the report is properly investigated.

“I would like to make sure that the ministry can make sure that there was no irregularity in the way these councils were created,” he said.

The EIA released last month significantly reduced the expected toll on the World Heritage bush cited in a leaked consultant document, and said that up to 92 threatened plant and animal species “could potentially be affected” by the floods in upstream.

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Dr Crates said there were less than 350 regent honey-feeders in the wild, and the lakeside of the Burragorang watershed was essential breeding ground for birds.

Last week, Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet appeared to reverse the government’s position by saying in a budget hearing that the state is committed to ensuring the safety of floodplain residents, but alternatives to it. wall elevation should be considered.

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