NSW Government sells out Kosciuszko National Park

Approval of Snowy 2.0 EIS sets appalling precedents, and all for an inferior project

“Today’s approval of the Snowy 2.0 construction project in Kosciuszko National Park marks a new low in the NSW Government’s refusal to protect threatened species and natural landscapes” stated Gary Dunnett, Executive Officer of the National Parks Association of NSW.

“Approving a massive industrial construction in Kosciuszko National Park sets appalling environmental and legal precedents and reduces Australia from an international leader in national park management to the bottom of the pack.”

“Never before has a National Park been used as a dump for millions of tonnes of contaminated waste.  Never before has approval been granted to spread pest fish and diseases across the Snowy Mountains and headwaters of the Murray, Snowy and Murrumbidgee river systems.  Never before has a development been allowed to drive a critically-endangered species, the Stocky Galaxias, into extinction.  Never before has approval been granted to raze hundreds of hectares of threatened species habitat and native vegetation in a National Park.  Never before has approval been given for a project that will result in infrastructure and landscape scars over 35 kilometres of a National Park”

Mr Dunnett added, “The approval flies in the face of the fundamental principles of environmental planning, particularly the need to consider feasible alternatives and assess the cumulative impacts of all stages of a development.  This approval has been issued before the EIS for the transmission lines that will be bulldozed through the Park has even been exhibited.”

“The NSW Government ignored the 50 energy, engineering, economic and environmental experts and organisations whose analysis utterly discredited the claimed benefits of Snowy 2.0.  Their Open Letter to the NSW Premier and Prime Minister states “It is now evident that Snowy 2.0 will cost many times its initial estimate, not deliver its claimed benefits and permanently damage Kosciuszko National Park to an unprecedented extent.  Snowy 2.0 is not as it has been publicly portrayed.  There are many alternatives that are more efficient, cheaper, quicker to construct, and incur less emissions and environmental impacts.”

“The NSW Government has ignored the expert’s advice and urging for an independent review of Snowy Hydro’s misleading claims for the project.  Today’s decision will go down in history as an appalling assault on one of Australia’s most fragile and precious of natural icons, Kosciuszko National Park.”

ENDS

Contact: Gary Dunnett, Executive Officer NPA 02 9299 0000


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