Federal Budget announces $2b for Water Infrastructure Projects


Image credit: David Rona

On Tuesday night, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced that the Federal Budget would include $2 billion to be invested in the development of new water infrastructure projects over the next 10 years.

A further $2 billion will be invested in the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund. This additional funding almost doubles the Government’s existing $1.5 billion investment.

The key water infrastructure projects that will benefit from this funding include the Wyangala Dam, the Dungowan Dam and the Emu Swamp Dam.

This investment in water infrastructure is expected to support regional communities through droughts, bushfires, floods and COVID-19 recovery.

Wyangala Dam (NSW)

The Wyangala Dam project will raise the current dam embankment and rockfill to add an additional 650GL of storage to the dam. The spillway and intake towers of the dam will also be raised by 10 metres. The federal budget outlined that the Government would fund $162.5 million for this dam ($325 million in total).

Dungowan Dam (NSW)

This Federal Government will be investing $121 million ($242 million in total) for the Dugowan Dam to be constructed, increasing storage capacity from 6.3GL to 22.5GL.

Emu Swamp Dam (QLD)

The Emu Swamp Dam in Queensland will also see federal funding to construct the 12,000ML dam on the Severn River near Stanthorpe as well as a 117km pipeline distribution network.

Deputy Prime Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said that the Government is committed to investing in water infrastructure for the future.

“The Government is planning for the long term through a 10-year rolling program of priority water infrastructure investments,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This is all about increasing water security to build greater resilience in our regions as we create more jobs and see continued growth in our agriculture sector.

“We have already committed to more than 20 water infrastructure projects across Australia, supplying billions of litres of water for productive use each year, but we want to do even more.

Mr McCormack said the Government would be working closely with state and territory governments to identify a rolling program of priority water infrastructure developments.

“Even through this difficult year, the agriculture sector grew by $1 billion – with the right investments in water infrastructure, we are supporting its continued growth for the future, as we work toward making it a $100 billion industry by 2030.

“We are helping increase water security in areas where extensive irrigated agriculture already exists, while also helping to unlock new agricultural regions, especially in Australia’s north.”

Source: Media Release

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