The Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack has hit back at comments made by academic Professor Jamie Pittock, who is opposed to raising the Wyangala Dam wall.
Mr McCormack said the raising of the Wyangala Dam wall by 10 metres would not only increase the water storage capacity of the dam by 650 gigalitres, it would also give authorities more flexibility in preventing flood events.
“Professor Pittock has shown through his comments a complete disregard for the residents, farmers, families and business people living and working along the Lachlan River catchment,” Mr McCormack said.
“To suggest raising the Wyangala Dam wall would worsen the impact of floods and to accuse relevant authorities of water mismanagement is misinformed and is a smack in the face to the people living along the Lachlan River catchment as well as to Water New South Wales, which many locals believe has done an outstanding job to minimise the impact of this flooding event. When Prof. Pittock says there are “cheaper” alternatives, it is not just about doing things on the cheap,” Mr McCormack said.
“But on the issue of cost, just imagine the value of the current floodwater, had it been used for agricultural production, which would be enormous. To say the dam wall should not be raised goes against everything most locals believe should happen.”
Mr McCormack, offered some advice for the Professor.
“Try telling that to those residents who are pulling up their sodden carpets after the waters have run through their homes, to the primary producers who stand to lose millions of dollars because their crops have been ruined or to the communities who’ve faced flood adversity too many times,” he said.
“Try telling that to the people of Forbes who’ve had their houses inundated by two flood events in the past five years.”