Who’s Who in this Dam Plan?   

On this page, we’ve compiled a list of key commentators on the proposal, which has been discussed for over twenty years. Scroll through to see who has said what – there are three tabs: the first lists supporters of the proposal, the second lists its opponents and the third lists unaligned commentators. 

Mike Baird Premier “The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley has been identified as having the greatest flood risk in NSW, which poses a serious danger to life and property in western Sydney,”

Asserts that raising the wall would reduce the potential economic impacts by about 75% on average.

Allocated $58 million in the 2016 budget to “undertake detailed concept designs, environmental assessments and preparation of the full business case to raise the wall.”

Paul Broad Former head of Sydney Water (early 1990s)

Former head of Infrastructure NSW (CEO 2011/12)

The wall must be raised by 10-20 meters to protect against massive flooding. Cites the 2010-11 Queensland floods as justification.
John Fahey Former Premier Ticked off the wall raising project as proposed by Paul Broad in or about 1994.
Mark Babister ‘Expert’ witness to the Queensland Flood Commission

Managing director of WMAwater

“There is huge flood risk – it is probably greater than Brisbane…It probably would impact on more people, homes and small businesses…But it wouldn’t have some of the economic consequences of shutting down a CBD.”
Kim Ford Hawkesbury Mayor “Depending on where people are, some premiums (in this area) have gone up by $8,000. A lot of people can’t afford to pay that and perhaps they take the risk. A few people in those areas can’t increase their income that much to cover it…The dam for mitigation would be a great effort and would make a great difference. In an ordinary flood event it would make a difference of one or two metres, which keeps bridges open and water out of houses”
Rob Whelan CEO, Insurance Council of Australia “We congratulate the Federal Government and Minister Shorten for providing this breakthrough funding for vital flood mitigation infrastructure work…The announcement today will ensure that at-risk Australian communities will be better protected in the future from the devastating effects of floods.”
Christopher Brown Western Sydney Leadership Council Chairman “I think there’s the capacity to use a value-capture funding method to reduce the impact on taxpayers…Maybe via levy on land release that was previously considered flood-prone so we might be able to do it at a cheaper rate than what the Government’s talking about.”
Bob Carr Former  Premier Cut funding for Paul Broad’s proposal upon winning the 1995 election.
Milo Dunphy Environmentalist Took Bob Carr on a tour of the dam prior to Carr cutting the project.
Matt Gould President of the Warragamba Silverdale Residents Alliance (WSRA)  “Our No. 1 priority is getting public access back to the dam wall”
Richard Kingsford Professor of Environmental Science at UNSW “Building dams on rivers, and, raising dam walls causes incredible ecological damage to the river. It’s because they trap the water that is essential for that river system…When you think of a river you tend to think of the main channel but it’s a lot more than that.

It actually relies on the flood plains, on its sides, that’s where a lot of nutrients come from. Then of course, at the mouth of a river there is usually an estuary. That’s highly dependent on what comes down the river in terms of nutrients and sediment. We are talking there about our most productive areas for nursery fisheries and oyster farmers…Raising a dam wall will certainly help in terms of flood mitigation. The critical question, where we need some transparency, is, where are the different flooding regimes going to occur? Where is the 1 in 100 hundred flood? Where is the 1 in 1000 flood going to actually go? How many of those houses are actually going to be protected? The other difficult part of this issue is what are the affects of climate change?”

Stuart Khan Senior lecturer at the water research centre at the University of NSW ”It doesn’t matter how big that dam is. It’s not that it’s not big enough; it’s just that the management needs to change..’We need to reserve some storage capacity in the reservoir for when those big inflows come along.”
Keith Muir Colong Foundation for Wilderness ”You are moving the flood from downstream to upstream … that will put the most protected natural area in Australia under water”
Andrew Cox 4Nature “The raising of the dam will flood World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains national parks and it will destroy large areas of wild river, because if the water is kept behind the dam during floods, it will ruin all the vegetation in those rivers…”
“We’re worried that by raising the dam and providing some level of protection it will actually trigger development on the flood plain”
Amir Deen A water consultant and former senior hydrologist with Sydney Catchment Authority The cost would be at least $700-800 million.

There would be water quality issues for Sydney during construction.

”You’d have to strengthen the current dam quite considerably or you’d have to drown it with a new dam either upstream or downstream,”

Steve Knight Executive engineer of the state government’s dams safety committee ”The full supply water level of the dam is very close to the top of the gates, compared with several metres lower at Wivenhoe Dam that provides flood mitigation space for Brisbane,”