The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, has backed Government plans to increase the wall of Warragamba Dam, reducing potential flood risks to thousands of Western Sydney residents.
Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, has been calling for a rise in the Dam Wall over the past 12 months, with flood mitigation an area of keen focus for the Dialogue since its inception in early 2015.
“We’ve all seen the devastating images of Brisbane during the 2011 floods, and the last thing we’d want to see was for Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley to end up like Lockyer Valley,” Mr Brown said.
“This is a courageous, and correct call by the Baird Government, and one that could not only save NSW millions of dollars in clean-up and repair bills, but more importantly, save thousands of lives.”
Mr Brown, who has had private discussions with Government on this matter, added that the infrastructure costs for the Dam upgrade, which are expected to be announced at next week’s State Budget, could be off-set through value capture applied to private land-holdings that were previously deemed undevelopable due to flood risks.
“By changing the zoning of flood-prone land, the Government could open up huge parcels of space in the north-west for more homes, jobs and opportunities,” Mr Brown said.
“And through a value-capture mechanism on these new properties, the Government could also fund this critical piece of infrastructure, and future-proof Western Sydney, at a quicker and more cost-effective rate – it’s win-win.”