Top scientist resigns over destructive impacts of Snowy 2.0

The resignation of Associate Professor Mark Lintermans as Chair of the NSW Fisheries Scientific Committee has put a spotlight on the NSW Government’s refusal to take scientific advice about the environmental disaster that will unfold as a result of Snowy 2.0.

Associate Professor Mark Lintermans resigned in protest immediately after the NSW Government approved the Snowy 2.0 Main Works EIS. He had served on the committee for nine years.

“I cannot continue to serve a government that so wilfully ignores the destructive impacts of Snowy 2.0 on two threatened fish species, the stocky galaxias and Macquarie perch,” Mr Lintermans said.

The NSW Government has also signalled plans to grant an exemption to Snowy Hydro for the transfer of invasive species and diseases, prohibited under the NSW Biosecurity Act.

“It is unprecedented for a government to grant an exemption that will likely cause the extinction in the wild of a species,” Mr Lintermans said.

“Instead of adopting the universally accepted best-practice of preventing the transfer of invasive fish, Snowy Hydro are proposing second-rate alternatives to try and contain the invasive fish after transfer.”

Professor Lintermans has called for an independent review of the threats, mitigation measures, and long-term impacts.

Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox warned the spread of pest fish and diseases throughout the Snowy Mountains and its iconic rivers – Murrumbidgee, Snowy and Murray – is one of many tragic consequences of Snowy 2.0.

“The critically endangered stocky galaxias, already pushed towards extinction by trout stocking and thousands of feral horses, will be delivered its death blow by Snowy 2.0 through the deliberate spread of the predatory climbing galaxias and the deadly EHN virus,” he said.

Gary Dunnett, Executive Officer of the National Parks Association of NSW, said the decision will leave an appalling legacy.

“Yesterday’s decision will go down in history as one of the most reprehensible decisions of a NSW Government and will leave an appalling legacy on one of Australia’s most fragile and precious of natural icons, Kosciuszko National Park,” he said.

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