3 April 2014
Home Hill Observer
THE Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, is to chair a new ministerial working group set up to identify new infrastructure projects that can deliver Australia’s water supply needs in the future.
Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen said the first task of the group would be to identify priorities, investment and processes to fast-track development.
“Water infrastructure has to keep pace with economic opportunities in Northern Australia and the wider region as well as with national population growth,” he said.
“Australia’s population is expected to reach 35 million by 2050 and we also have to take advantage of the growing wealth of hundreds of millions of people who live close by. This ministerial working group gives us the opportunity to prioritise our water and infrastructure needs — both by upgrading existing infrastructure or building new infrastructure, and some of these are already in the pipeline.”
Mr Joyce said the ministerial working group was part of a Liberal National Government commitment to plan for the dams of the future and was evidence of the Abbott Government’s wider commitment to build infrastructure and the group would begin its work immediately.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Simon Birmingham said Australia’s naturally variable climate meant we must look for new water infrastructure opportunities that are both innovative and sustainable.
“The ministerial working group brings together key areas of the government including infrastructure, water, agriculture and the environment to push forward the Prime Minister’s goal of building productive infrastructure for the future,” Senator Birmingham said.
“This group will look at new dams as well as options like harvesting and storing water in underground aquifers to further boost the efficient and sustainable utilisation of our water resources.”
The group’s water infrastructure options paper will be developed by July 2014, so its outcomes can be considered as part of the White Papers on Northern Australia and Agricultural Competitiveness.
Courtesy of the Home Hill Observer
3 April 2014