Communities are asking – Show Us the Business Cases!

Four dam projects are speeding through the approvals process in Western NSW:

  • Raising of Wyangala Dam Wall
  • Mole River Dam
  • Macquarie River re-regulating storage project at Gin Gin
  • Dungowan Creek Dam.

Taxpayers of NSW need to know how public funds will be invested (or wasted)

Send a message to the Premier to release all dam business cases when finalised.

The Business Case for the Macquarie River project is done and should be released immediately. The Business Cases for the other proposals must be released as soon as they are finalised.

More information:

On the Lachlan River people want answers:

“This project is a captain’s pick. The dam proponents have greatly exaggerated the benefits and the costs have been grossly underestimated. There is no coherent cost-benefit analysis.” said the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists’ spokesman, Jamie Pittock, a professor in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University.

Costs estimates have soared – originally a $650 million cost, now estimates are as high as $2.1 billion dollars.

There are better options for reducing the demand for water in the Lachlan, like the upgrading of Jemalong Irrigation infrastructure. Will these options be considered in the business case?

We want to know, will the Government follow the recommendations of the Legislative Council report Part 1 “Rationale for, and impacts of, new dams and other water infrastructure in NSW”?

Send a tweet to the Premier – @GladysB – Will you release the Wyangala dam business case? #Wyangala

Image WaterNSW

On the Mole River residents are angry:

“People along the Mole and Dumaresq Rivers below the dam site have been increasingly frustrated by WaterNSW failure to meet with them, discuss options for water management or to provide useful answers to questions. By pressing ahead in this way with a business case for a dam recently considered uneconomic, when these affected people are still in drought and struggling to recover from extreme fires, the government shows a lack of empathy.” Says local Mr Bruce Norris.

Environmental impacts within the dam footprint are being assessed… But are impacts downstream being assessed – on ground water intake? Aquatic ecosystems? Wetland such as Boobera Lagoon? Or on people along the Barwon Darling?

Email the Premier and ask – Will you release the business case for the Mole River Dam? What is your Government trying to hide? #MoleRiverProtectionAlliance

On the Wambool-Macquarie River trust in NSW’s water management doesn’t exist:

The community have not forgotten how close we came to losing the river in the recent drought as a direct consequence of NSW mismanagement of water.

The proposed Gin Gin dam would give water agencies even more control over the river, and the means to sell even more water for extraction.

“We need to know what is in the business case. How much would this dam cost? Why are the public expected to foot the bill for a dam that will only benefit a few corporate and private interests?” says Mel Gray, convenor of Healthy Rivers Dubbo.

Less water in the river and a loss of habitat will hit struggling native fish populations hard. Will the financial impact of fewer fishers in the valley, and less water for downstream irrigators be assessed?

Tweet Dubbo’s local member @DugaldSaunders and ask – What is in the Macquarie River re-regulating storage business case? Show us the detail. #NoGinGinDam

In Tamworth residents want real water security:

Recently the Productivity Commission’s draft report on National Water Reform used the Dungown dam proposal as a case study for flawed decision making.

The dam is estimated to provide on average 6,000 megalitres of water a year, at a cost of more than $60,000 per megalitre. By comparison, the current market price of one megalitres is $1,341.

The report also pointed out the inescapable truth – that the water system is fully allocated, and any promise of ‘new water’ from this dam is an illusion.

Rather than spend $484 million on a dam, the same volume of water could be bought from entitlement owners for just $10 million dollars a year.

How can the business case for a dam proposal that the Productivity Commission chose to use as a case study for flawed decision making stand up to public scrutiny?

Email the Premier and ask – Does the business case for the Dungown dam proposal include options like using purified water in communities? Please release the business case!  #NoDungowanDam

Image: Namoi Valley Independent

Everybody wants to see the business cases!

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