The Greens braved a 40 degree day in Penrith last Sunday to make a climate announcement at Caddens.
The party announced its ‘Building A Climate Smart Western Sydney’ plan, which includes legislating a ‘green belt’ urban growth boundary for Greater Sydney, banning development under the 1 in 500 year flood level on the Hawkesbury-Nepean, offering buybacks and land swaps for residents living under the 1 in 100 year flood level and lowerring the operating level of Warragamba Dam by 12 metres to increase flood resilience.
The Greens would also establish an independent statutory body to develop and deliver an ambitious state-wide urban cooling strategy, coordinating industry, State Government and local governments and monitoring progress, and grow our urban forest with LGA specific tree canopy targets, large scale tree planting programs and improved tree protection laws.
“Western Sydney is on the frontline of the climate crisis, facing increasingly frequent and severe floods and heatwaves. Instead of preparing western Sydney for the reality of the climate crisis the NSW Government has allowed poor planning and endless urban sprawl to create suburbs that could become unlivable in the next few decades,” said NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann.
Faehrmann rallied against sitting Penrith MP Stuart Ayres’ long-held desire to raise the Warragamba Dam wall.
“Raising Warragamba Dam is a reckless and short-sighted move that will sacrifice our precious Blue Mountains World Heritage area. It won’t provide any immediate flood protection and will only facilitate even more urban sprawl on the floodplain,” she said.
“Our plan will lower the Warragamba dam water level so that it can be used for flood mitigation and prohibit the construction of homes on flood prone land. Doubling the capacity of the desalination plant and investing in water recycling will more than make up for any lost water storage and improve water security during droughts.”