Dugald Saunders MP has declined a second meeting with Healthy Rivers Dubbo to discuss the environmental impacts of the proposed dam at Gin Gin. Such a shame, as he obviously doesn't have all the information about the project.
Dugald says the project will continue to "protect the ecology in and around the river." WaterNSW explain in their own documents that flows to the Macquarie Marshes will decline, and 30km of river bank vegetation will be drowned including centuries old Red Gums. The banks will degrade and erode, water quality will reduce, native fish habitat and food sources will be significantly impacted. In their own documents, WaterNSW say that a fishway alone will not offset the significant impact this dam will have on native fish.
Dugald says the dam will "increase overall water allocations - including environmental allocations - providing further benefit for the Macquarie Marshes." We would ask Dugald where he thinks all the extra water for these allocations is coming from, as the new dam is not a magic pudding. There's nowhere else most of the water can come from except tributary inflows from rivers like the Bell, Little and Talbragar.
WaterNSW are very insistent that tributary flows won't be caught. Healthy Rivers Dubbo laments missing out on the opportunity to explain to Dugald that a lot of water from the tributaries is considered dam releases by WaterNSW, and will be caught and sold - as it says clearly in their own documentation.
We instead write this letter, hoping Dugald will see fit to answer the community's question - Why is such a large amount of public money being used to benefit a lucky few at the expense of so many?
Convenor, Healthy Rivers Dubbo
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