Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Call for Federal Inquiry into new Snowy-hydro scheme

“The Federal Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg should commit to a Federal Inquiry into the proposed two billion dollar pumped hydro scheme located in Kosciuszko National Park,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“Federal Government should not be trusted with the environmental assessment process without some sort of independent review as there is too much at stake.  The politicians have too much riding on this announcement and simply ignored the potential impacts. The park wasn’t even mentioned in any of the media today on the scheme’s announcement, which is appalling,” he said.

“Major construction involving considerable earth works in the largest national park in NSW should be a big red flag.  We saw how the light weight environmental assessment for Western Sydney Airport failed to consider even basic concerns on aircraft movement.  To avoid a repeat of this assessment debacle we need a full independent Federal Inquiry into this massive hydro proposal,” Mr Muir said.

“All options need to be on the table and the national park needs at the front of mind when considering these options to ensure environmental impacts are minimised,” Mr Muir said.

“The Colong Foundation has seen enough environmental assessments for major projects waved through public review processes to know that without independent interrogation this Snowy-hyro proposal it is likely to have a greater impact on Kosciuszko National Park,” said Mr Muir.

“The scheme’s options also need to be subjected to independent economic assessment as the original scheme, noble as it is, has been criticised as very, very expensive for what it delivers,” Mr Muir said.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)