ABC Central West / By Hugh Hogan March 22nd, 2023
With the state election this weekend, NSW Labor said it needed more details before it could commit to the project.
“We don’t know what it’s going to cost. We don’t know clearly what the benefits are. We don’t know what the environmental impacts are going to be,” Labor water spokesperson Rose Jackson said.
“What Labor is doing is being honest about the processes that we’re going to follow … we haven’t seen the documentation, we haven’t seen the business case so we’re unable to make commitments.”
Not everyone is in support of the project which could have a price tag north of $2 billion.
Bev Smiles from the Inland Rivers Network said the environmental cost, including reduced water for wetlands, was too high.
“It captures the really important floods for the wetlands in the Lachlan Valley that are listed on the national list of important wetlands,” she said.
Ms Smiles said a bigger dam would not have had any effect on last year’s floods as operators were currently required to store as much water as possible for downstream users.
“New South Wales really needs to look closely at its dam management policy both for critical human needs in extreme drought … and the way they currently manage dams to keep them full as much as possible,” she said.