​Joint Media Release

Chaffey Dam works near completion

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce
Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson

9 February 2016

Water security in the Peel Valley will soon be significantly strengthened as a project to upgrade and augment Chaffey Dam nears completion. 

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and NSW Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson, said the project, which is jointly funded by the Australian Government, the NSW Government and Tamworth City Council, is scheduled to be delivered on time and budget by WaterNSW in coming months. 

"The upgrade and augmentation of Chaffey Dam will not only help secure long-term water supplies for the growing city of Tamworth, but will also improve the security of water entitlements for downstream users," Minister Joyce said. 

"The Australian Government has invested $18 million in these important works, which will increase the permanent storage capacity of the dam from 62 gigalitres to 100 gigalitres, as well as ensuring the dam complies with the necessary safety standards for extreme floods. 

"Water is a precious resource that underpins the productivity of our agriculture sector, as well as the health of our communities and environment. This project is just one element of the Australian Government's broader investment in infrastructure that will support more efficient management of water resources and greater water security across Australia. 

"For example, through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, we are investing $500 million in a National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to support planning and delivery of water infrastructure projects across the country—including new and augmented water infrastructure, such as dams, pipelines and managed aquifer recharge projects. 

"In addition, we are making an average of around $2.5 million dollars available each day for infrastructure upgrades across the Murray–Darling Basin to support agricultural productivity and profitability, and deliver economic, social and environmental benefits." 

NSW Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson, said 590m3 of a total of 1,280m3 of concrete has now been poured for the raised spillway, with the pouring staged to maximise the strength of the structure. 

"No additional water has been released from the dam for the works, with the storage currently sitting at around 51%," Mr Anderson said. 

"Despite the recent rain the dam hasn't risen significantly meaning we haven't had to make any additional releases. 

"The WaterNSW team will continue to monitor the water level of the dam and forecast inflows and can act if necessary." 

As well as the construction period benefiting the local economy, employees for the Contractor, John Holland, have raised almost $5,000 for the Nundle and Woolomin schools and the Woolomin Cricket Club during the project. 

WaterNSW project manager, Jubrahil Khan, said the project had progressed to time, cost, quality, safety and environmental requirements. 

"Work will now continue with installing parapets and guardrails on the dam crest as well as pouring concrete for the raised spillway over the coming weeks," Mr Khan said. 

"At this stage we are on track for completion by April this year." 

The $18 million dam safety upgrade component of the works is funded by the NSW Government. 

The $31.781 million augmentation component of the works is funded by the Australian Government's National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns ($18.145 million), the NSW Government ($9.668 million) and Tamworth Regional Council ($3.968 million). 

For more information on the Chaffey Dam upgrade and augmentation, visit the WaterNSW website at waternsw.com.au/projects/dam-safety/chaffey

For more information on the Australian Government's National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, visit agriculture.gov.au/water-infrastructure.