The official document produced by the NSW Government that will inform the environmental impact statement for the Macquarie River re-regulating dam details the expected significant impacts on the habitat of threatened and endangered native species.
WaterNSW suggested in this document that the impact the project would have on the Ramsar listed Macquarie Marshes and on migratory birds would not be significant, however the Commonwealth Government disagreed, and found the expected impact will indeed by significant.
Here is a summary of the expected significant impacts taken directly from the document:
- Change of flowing river habitats to pool habitat.
- Loss of freshwater habitat types such as riffle zones due to inundation, and changes to flow regimes and water quality.
- Impacts to aquatic habitats and riparian vegetation from the regular variability of water levels within the storage and the associated effects on river bank stability.
- Loss or decrease of available recruitment areas, due to changes in available habitat.
- Likely impacts to the structural elements that make up established habitat of vulnerable Murray Cod in the existing Gin Gin Weir pool, including potential spawning sites.
- The new operational regimes may impact larval recruitment and the movement of fish in the locality.
- Greater variability in the pool levels and altered fish passage opportunities at the location.
- The alterations to important fish habitat in this locality and the potential operation effects on habitat and spawning for Trout Cod and Murray Cod may give rise to potentially significant impacts to these species.
- Potential impacts to the aquatic environment are likely to be more marked with a more extensive pool created behind the reregulating structure than the existing weir, greater variability in the pool levels and altered fish passage opportunities at the location.
- Potential direct impacts on threatened ecological communities within the project area may include inundation of vegetation as a result of impoundment.
Potential impacts to listed migratory species include:
• Loss or changes to habitat, including changing flowing river habitats to pool habitat
• Temporary displacement during construction activities
• Alterations to hydrological regimes
• Impacts to groundwater dependent ecosystems
• Impacts to aquatic habitats and riparian vegetation from the regular variability of water levels within the storage.
Read the full document here: