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New South Wales Prime Minister Dominic Perrotet promises to make dam walls taller, with or without federal funding

The New South Wales Premier has vowed to go it alone with the $2 billion project to lift the walls of the Warragamba Dam, even if the federal government doesn’t share the cost.

Dominic Perrottet said earlier this year that states alone cannot fund the project, but states will bear the cost if the federal government does not come to the negotiating table.

Two weeks ago, the New South Wales government announced it would rush to raise the dam’s walls by 14 meters, declaring them critical national infrastructure.

The construction of the wall has been considered by many successive NSW governments, but the prime minister says recent flood research has given it a new sense of urgency.

Led by New South Wales chief scientist and engineer Mary O’Kane and former police commissioner Mick Fuller, the study said the project would cost $2 billion and that giving people time to evacuate could save lives. He said he could save the house.

Today, the prime minister said he expects the federal government to halve given the project is about saving lives.

“If there is a critical opportunity to save lives across our state, I would expect a 50-50 financing arrangement.

“But there is no doubt that NSW is committed to this project and we will build it.”

Plans to raise the walls of the dam have been criticized by environmental groups who say the Blue Mountains could lose their World Heritage status, and by some indigenous peoples who have warned that culturally significant sites will be destroyed. ing.

The New South Wales Department of Labor denies raising the walls, but is consulting with experts on options to lower the capacity of the dam if necessary.

Opposition leader Chris Mings previously said the costs of the project were “astronomical” and accused the government of having plans to increase the population living on the floodplains.

Dominic Perrottet says he is fully committed to the dam project.(AAP: Bianca de Marchi)

Perrottet said a business case for the project has been provided to the federal government, but an environmental impact statement is still being drafted.

He insisted that things were progressing as quickly as possible, but could not promise to finalize the report before the March 2023 elections.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Mr Perrotet did not “endorse” the project with him.

“But as he told me why he…we are looking at a business case that has not yet been done, an environmental assessment that has not yet been done,” Albanese said. .

The prime minister has since struck down what he called a long history of federal government restraint from investing in NSW.

“It seems that NSW has always failed when it comes to federal investment in the budget. It’s a historical fact,” he said.

“The reason is … the NSW government continues to invest record amounts in infrastructure.

“It seems we are being punished because there is so much going on in NSW.”

Yesterday, State Treasurer Matt Keane told Nine Radio that the federal government was “swindling” taxpayers in New South Wales.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-18/nsw-premier-promises-to-build-2-billion-dam-wall/101546362 New South Wales Prime Minister Dominic Perrotet promises to make dam walls taller, with or without federal funding

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