State and Federal Government’s have committed $1 billion for a water infrastructure package for rural and regional communities impacted by the drought in NSW.
This will feature the first new dam built in NSW for more than 30 years.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Deputy Premier John Barilaro said both governments had been working together to fund critical water infrastructure projects.
“Our response to the ongoing drought impacting rural and regional communities is comprehensive and committed. It deals with immediate needs for financial assistance in and longer term investments to build drought resilience for the future,” Mr. Morrison said.
“Together we’ll deliver a $650 million upgrade of Wyangala Dam in the state’s Central West and a $480 million new Dungowan Dam near Tamworth.”
The investment will be split 50/50 for the large-scale water infrastructure projects to free up NSW funding and allow progress for critical town water projects across NSW.
“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,” Mr. Morrison said.
“We’re also investing an initial $24 million on a 50/50 basis with NSW for the 100,000-megalitre proposed Border Rivers project on the Mole River, near the Queensland border. This will ensure the project is shovel ready and help to identify the potential benefits that could flow on to irrigators and local communities in NSW and potentially Queensland.”
Mr. Morrison says the funding will bring water infrastructure commitments to $1.5 billion across 21 projects that are committed or underway.
Ms. Berejiklian said the NSW Government has already committed close to $3 billion to drought relief and water security since 2017.
“In partnership with the Commonwealth, we will build the first new dam in NSW for more than 30 years. The last was Split Rock Dam on the Manilla River in 1987. That’s why today’s announcement is historic,” Ms. Berejiklian said.
“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,” she said.
Formalised agreements between the Federal and NSW Governments outlining the timeframes will be finalised shortly.