The Gundungurra people from the Blue Mountains in New South Wales will launch a public campaign to raise awareness of the detrimental impacts raising the wall of the Warragamba Dam Wall would have on local Aboriginal culture.
Traditional Owner from Burragorang Valley Kazan Brown told NITV News the representative group of the Gundungurra people are set to hold a forum over the coming months to show the public “how stupid the project is and what exactly it is going to destroy”.
“We want to do a public awareness campaign to make people aware about our Dreamtime story and the area that is going to be destroyed and the significance of it to the Gundungarra people,” she said.
The state government has argued that raising the Warragamba Dam wall by 14 metres will reduce the risk of flooding in the Hawkesbury and Nepean river plain, allowing people downstream to escape if a flood were to occur.
This in turn could flood 5000 hectares of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and destroy thousands of years of Indigenous heritage.
Ms Brown’s main priority is to protect her culture for generations to come.
“Our Dreamtime story is the creation of the river and the surrounding landscapes. [With the raising of the dam wall] we are going to lose that, that is going to go,” she said.
“There’s rock art, ceremony grounds ... it’s all there. it’s just like people left yesterday… we should be preserving it, we shouldn’t be flooding it.”
The area which could become inundated is home to the only known rock cave art of the waratah, which is an important Dreamtime story for the Gundungurra people.