Opposition to Snowy 2.0 swells

Growing opposition to the unacceptable environmental impact, immense cost and dubious community benefits of the Snowy 2.0 project is proven by the recently released public submissions on the Main Works Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)[1].

NPA Executive Officer Gary Dunnett stated ‘Now that the immense scale of damage to Kosciuszko National Park is finally revealed by the EIS, the calls to reject the project have become overwhelming. 

‘Three quarters of the submissions object outright to the project, and only 5% offer support.

‘The irreversible damage proposed by Snowy Hydro includes clearing at least 10 square kilometres of threatened species habitat, destroying several hundred Aboriginal heritage sites and potentially driving at least one alpine species, the Stocky Galaxias, to extinction.

‘Snowy 2.0 will compromise ground water and put the survival of groundwater dependant alpine communities across hundreds, if not thousands, of hectares of Kosciuszko as risk’ Mr Dunnett said.

The 150 objections to Snowy 2.0 come from a broad cross section of individuals and organisations with a shared interest in the irreplaceable alpine heritage of Kosciuszko National Park. They include environmentalists, economists, engineers, academics, bushwalkers, fishers and park users. With so much community opposition to the project it is time for Planning Minister Rob Stokes to commission an independent review of the project to provide much needed transparency around the cheaper, better alternatives that don’t sacrifice the Kosciuszko National Park.

Mr Dunnett asserted ‘Snowy Hydro attempts to justify this environmental vandalism by claiming that their project is essential to the ‘firm’ future connections of renewable generators to the National Energy Market.  Several of the submissions agree with NPA’s long stated view that Snowy Hydro’s claims are wildly overstated[2]. Our paper, along with many other studies, demonstrate the availability of lower impact, lower cost energy storage alternatives to Snowy 2.0.

‘It is telling that the EIS makes only cursory mention of alternatives to Snowy 2.0, despite the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 requiring ‘analysis of any feasible alternatives to the carrying out of the development, activity or infrastructure’. Our conclusion is clear, there are many alternative ways of providing firming capacity without destroying large areas of irreplaceable national park.

‘Snowy 2.0 is the wrong project in the wrong place.’

ENDS

Media inquiries: Gary Dunnett, Executive Officer, NPA NSW 9299 0000


[1] “NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Planning Portal” https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/project/12891

[2] “Snowy 2.0 doesn’t stack up” NPA 15 October 2019 https://npansw.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/191014-Snowy-2.0-doesnt-stack-up-FINAL.pdf

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