Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Snowy 2.0 - overpriced and damaging to Kosciuszko NP

“The feasibility study for the Snowy 2 pumped-hydro scheme reveals cost an estimated cost of $3.8 to $4.5 billion*, and that’s without the cost of the required major electricity transmission network upgrade.  The real cost is likely to be double this feasibility estimate, to which you then must add the signifcant harm that will be done to Kosciuszko National Park.  This very expensive,  national park damaging proposal should not proceed,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

Due diligence - Missing In Action

To my knowledge, neither the Federal Government nor Snowy-Hydro have undertaken an adequate site selection process,” said Mr Muir. 

“Last September, Professor Andrew Blakers from the Australian Nation University identified more than 22,000 sites across Australia suitable for pumped hydro storage,” Mr Muir said.

“This is 2017, not 1957, and public assessment and review of a short listed set of the most promising pumped-hydro sites must be considered before Australia leaps into another round of infrastructure development in Kosciuszko National Park!”, said Mr Muir.

“The 4000 Olympic swimming pools of rock waste and a massive network of new powerlines will have excessive impacts on Kosciuszko National Park and surely other suitable site options require a thorough examination,” he said.

“And where are the project planning objectives in the feasibility analysis skewed towards restoring the national park that is so damaged by past hydro-infrastructure?”, asked Mr Muir.

“Where is the scheme to relocate the existing powerlines out of the national park?  Where is a modern engineering vision to reduce the infrastructure impacts on Kosciuszko National Park, remove the stream diverting aqueducts, increase environmental flows and reduce soil deposition in stored waters due to the park’s huge burden of exotic animals, particularly its feral horse plague”, Mr Muir said. 

We see no environmental management gains for Kosciuszko National Park, only more impacts on the park and a promise of ‘offsets’.  Snowy-Hydro has ignored the first requirement of the NSW biodiversity offset policy; the consideration of all possible means of avoiding infrastructure development in this important national park”, said Mr Muir.

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

Reference: page 13 - last dot point in summary document for the Snowy 2.0 feasibility study