Club Cowra

CNSWJO Keeps Wyangala Dam On Federal Govt Radar

Written by: The Cowra Phoenix

IMAGE: Wyangala Dam releasing water from all flood gates during major inflows of water last year.

Mayors and General Managers of member councils of the Central New South Sales Joint Organisation met with Federal Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek recently in an effort to keep the Wyangala Dam wall extension topical at a Federal level.

Cowra Shire Council Mayor Bill West and General Manager Paul Devery made the trip to Canberra on Thursday 25th May to represent Cowra as part of 11 councils that make up the CNSWJO, with Wyangala Dam high on the agenda.

The meeting came after the Federal Budget earlier in May, which featured no funding for the Wyangala Dam wall extension - a project that has been stalled since the previous Coalition governments of both NSW and Australia announced fund-ing contributions for the project in 2019.

Environmental concerns and budget blowouts in the business case have been the main cause of the pause on the project politically within the NSW Parliament, with the NSW Government responsible for managing the project as the owner of the dam.

Despite the project seemingly being in hiatus, Cowra Mayor Bill West said the meeting with Minister Plibersek was positive, and said it would ensure the project is not forgotten about by the Federal Government.

“The meeting was arranged to ensure the Wyangala Dam project is not off the radar of the Federal Government,” Mr West said.

“The aim was to ensure water security is still considered as important by the Federal Government, as well as flood mitigation.”

“It was a positive and productive meet-ing and Minister Plibersek was very welcoming of us.”

Mr West said the CNSWJO also met with NSW Water Minister Rose Jackson, and took the opportunity to raise the issue with her, as well as addressing local water utilities, flood and drought mitigation. “We raised the need of keeping the community informed about it all, as this is very important as well,” Mr West said. Mr West said Cowra Council and the CNSWJO would continue advocating for Wyangala Dam and other issues affecting the region at both state and federal levels.

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