Hawkesbury council has rejected a request from Blue Mountains council to write to the State Government to oppose the raising of Warragamba Dam's wall.
Blue Mountains City Council wrote to Hawkesbury in April of this year this year, asking it oppose plans to raise the wall by 14 metres as well as inundation of the catchment area in parts of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park.
In a report to the June 25 meeting, Hawkesbury council staff said the council was not in a position to support or oppose raising the wall "until such time as council has considered the findings from a completed Environmental Impact Statement [EIS] and the soon to be released Hawkesbury Nepean Regional Flood Strategy".
Cr Patrick Conolly said council had considered a motion 12 months ago to express support for the raising of the wall, however voted not to take a position until the EIS was released.
"I think that this [recommendation] is consistent with that," he told the meeting.
Cr Danielle Wheeler moved an amendment that included expressing support for Blue Mountains' "fairly simple statement" of opposition to amendments to the National Parks and Wildlife Act, which allowed parts of the Blue Mountains National Park to be flooded.
Several councillors would support the move, particularly in light of the absence of an EIS before such a change to legislation, she said.
"I can't fathom why a government would feel that it would be in a position to make such a drastic change to legislation without an [EIS]," she said.
But Liberal Cr Nathan Zamprogno said he resented being presented with an amendment that represented "a monumental shift" in council's position relating to flood mitigation.
"This amendment effectively ... places this council at odds with the proposal to raise Warragamba Dam wall, it would oppose it," he said. "For this community and the threat that flooding represents to this community to be subverted, and for us to be led around by the nose by Greens councillors from Blue Mountains who ... are high and dry and thoroughly out of harm's way is unacceptable and this council shouldn't stand for it."
While the amendment did not specifically state council was against the raising of the dam wall, Mayor Barry Calvert said it was implied by stating council was against the flooding of the area behind the wall.
"I see this amendment as moving too far, too soon. We are not ready to actually make that step because we are waiting for the EIS, that is our accepted position and I believe that is the position we should stick to," he said.
The amendment was defeated five votes to seven, and the motion was then passed nine votes to three.
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