Conolly's reaction towards conservationists

REACTING to the front page of last week’s Gazette, Riverstone MP Kevin Conolly said he was ‘‘appalled at the callous disregard’’ shown by conservationists for Hawkesbury residents’ lives. 

“The proposal to raise the wall of Warragamba Dam to slow the release of floodwaters in very rare flood events is squarely aimed at saving lives by allowing people time to evacuate and at protecting both private and public property by reducing the peak of a flood,’’ Mr Conolly said.

“But the Colong Foundation would apparently prefer to risk the drowning of hundreds or even thousands of people rather than accept the temporary inundation of bush areas for a few weeks once or twice in a century.

“There is no reason to conclude that such temporary inundation would result in permanent environmental damage, but once a person has drowned there is no bringing them back to life.”

He also said improved emergency procedures alone could not be a substitute for reducing the risk via flood mitigation, and that ‘‘the Colong Foundation’s priorities are out of step with the rest of the community if they put trees before people’’. 

Londonderry MP agreed. ‘‘Here we go again,’’ he said to the Gazette.

‘‘Put forward a sensible idea that is about looking after the majority of the community and as usual The Greens and their associated supporters come out knocking the idea.’’