10 July 2015
A National Water Infrastructure Development Fund has been set up for investment in water infrastructure in partnership with the states and territories as a result of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
The minister for agriculture Barnaby Joyce said $50 million would be “allocated to support the planning necessary to decide on viable projects for investment”. This is despite Joyce saying that “a lot of work has been done to identify dams and water infrastructure projects that will benefit rural and regional communities and agriculture”, including the efforts of the Water Infrastructure Ministerial Working Group that he chairs.
The remaining $450 million will be available for construction, with $200 million specifically for Northern Australia. Joyce has already got a shopping list that spans the country.
“There is a long and growing list of suggested sites and projects that could benefit from funding right across the country from managed aquifer recharge in the Northern Territory to Gippsland’s Macalister Irrigation District Southern Pipeline in Victoria,” he said.
“There are many great opportunities in the Nathan and Emu Swamp dams, Rookwood and Eden Bann weirs in Queensland, Dungowan Dam in New South Wales and the Ord Stage 3 in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.”
Joyce said the funding in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper builds on existing commitments to water infrastructure in the Great Artesian Basin, Tasmania and the Murray-Darling Basin.
He said water infrastructure was central to the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper because it set out the government’s priorities for agriculture for the next generation.
Courtesy of Engineers Australia