The Australian and New South Wales Governments are jointly committing $1 billion for a water infrastructure package that will help rural and regional communities that are impacted by the drought.
“Our 50/50 investment with the state government in these priority large-scale water infrastructure projects will free up NSW funding to allow them to progress critical town water projects across NSW. We want to get these projects underway because this is about water supply and security.
“These projects don’t happen overnight but we’re working as quickly as possible to get all the necessary work done so we can start digging,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
An initial $24 million will also be invested through a 50/50 basis for the delivery of a 100,000-megalitre proposed Border Rivers project on the Mole River. This investment will ensure that works will be ready to commence and help identify possible benefits for irrigators and local communities in the State and, potentially, in Queensland.
“This funding brings our water infrastructure commitments to $1.5 billion across 21 projects that are committed or underway. This is part of more than $7 billion in drought support funding that we are already providing and have committed,” the Prime Minister added.
On the other hand, the NSW Government has committed almost $3 billion for drought relief as well as water security since 2017.
With the billion dollar investment, a new dam is going to be built in NSW which is a first in more than 30 years - since the Split Rock Dam was built on the Manilla River in 1987.
“Our regional and rural communities are doing it incredibly tough and that’s why we’re making this massive additional investment in partnership with the Commonwealth Government.
“Dams and other water infrastructure are an important part of the mix when it comes to increasing supply and reliability so that NSW’s water supply is more resilient to the terrible drought being experienced across the eastern states,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
According to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack, the development of a business case and design works will be prioritised through this funding.
“We are already making significant investments in water infrastructure capital projects nationwide and today’s announcement signals a major acceleration of that commitment.
“These projects will fit into our strategic plan for improving regional water security through water infrastructure led by the national Water Grid Authority,” Mr McCormack said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said that the State Government has been pushing to get works underway on critical water infrastructure projects and that this massive investment is a turning point to the State’s future-proofing initiative.
“This partnership with the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government will mean more projects, in faster time frames.
“Our priority is to get these major projects off the ground as quickly as possible, to combat ‘day zero’ and help regional and rural communities in NSW get through this devastating drought,” Mr Barilaro said.
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