Community groups and traditional owners have accused the NSW government of not being transparent over plans to raise the Warragamba Dam wall.
Just days out from the state election, the coalition is facing a growing backlash over the plan which could inundate Aboriginal cultural sites within the Blue Mountains.
Gundungurra woman Kazan Brown argues traditional owners haven’t been properly consulted.
“They’re trying to keep everything from us,” Ms Brown told AAP on Thursday.
The issue reached boiling point when Ms Brown became aware bones were found at a known Aboriginal burial site in May 2018 during survey works for the wall raising.
As far as Ms Brown is aware no investigation has been undertaken to determine what type of bones they are.
“It could be one of my relatives … They haven’t told us anything,” she said.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says an indigenous person is on site to advise on most major projects.
When asked on Thursday specifically about the bones discovery she said it was the first she had heard of the issue.
“With all of our projects if something historic is found, and if it’s not yet determined what kind of significance it has, we wait to determine that,” she told reporters in Sydney.
The NSW opposition says the area is “very sacred” and the project shouldn’t go ahead.
In the final week of the election campaign, the Berejiklian government has distributed flyers in western Sydney claiming Labor’s opposition to the dam raising could put thousands of lives in the Hawkesbury-Nepean flood plain at risk.
“Labor is risking people’s lives and property by opposing the raising of Warragamba Dam wall,” the flyer states.
Residents argue it’s a “completely misleading accusation” given Infrastructure NSW admits an additional 134,000 people will live on the flood plain in the future.
“For the NSW Liberals to portray Labor as putting flood plain lives at risk is hypocrisy of the highest order,” Give A Dam community group spokesman Harry Burkitt said in a statement.
NSW Labor environment spokeswoman Penny Sharpe called out the coalition for “scaremongering”.
The government says it’s raising the wall 14 metres but documents seen by AAP reveal a plan to raise the wall significantly higher with each end – the dam abutments – to be raised 17m.
That means the dam wall can be modified to hold back extra water in the future.