Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Snowy 2 is expensive damaging, inefficient and undermines national park protection

"No politician denies Snowy 2 is expensive. It’s justified as a nation building project, but it will damage the national heritage listed Kosciuszko National Park,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“The assertion in the NSW determination notice that the works can be undertaken without any significant impacts on the biodiversity, recreational and conservation values of the Kosciuszko National Park[1] is 100% incorrect,” he said.

“The deal is Snowy Hydro pays $10.5 million in blood money to National Parks and Wildlife Service to offset its project impacts on the Kosciuszko National Park. All good, no significant impacts; what rubbish”, Mr Muir said.

“The NPWS will use the money on threatened species, and to offset the loss of recreational values of Lobs Hole, and improve overall catchment health. These efforts are largely wasted while feral horse populations continue to wreck this national park,” he said.

“You can’t initiate a multiple billion dollar power project generating huge amounts of rock waste from a tunnel portal in a virgin reach of the Yarrangobilly River without significant impacts. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment should be ashamed of its role in laundering national park impacts,” Mr Muir said.

“It’s of concern that the NSW Planning Department states that this is a stand-alone consent and does not rely on Snowy 2.0 Main Works or Transmission Connection progressing, and assumes the site would require rehabilitation to remove all infrastructure. No journalist or political party believes this, the assumption is that it’s going ahead,” said Mr Muir.

“Our independent planning processes have sunk to a new low in NSW as environmental assessment and development control is seen as a mere paper shuffling exercise by journalists and politicians,” he said.

“It will be amusing if this astronomically expensive project falls over after the provision of $1.4 billion dollar tax-payer top up that Finance Minister Mathias Cormann claims would “make this project happen”,” Mr Muir said.  “So much for this project being for an exploratory investigation tunnel then”, he added.

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

[1] Critical State significant infrastructure development consent Snowy 2.0 Exploratory Works (SSI 9208), 7/2/2019