$25 million for planning better national water infrastructure
19 November 2015
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, today announced a call for expressions of interest under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund. States and territories are invited to apply for a share in $25 million of funding to undertake feasibility studies to support water infrastructure projects across the country including new dams.
“The fund delivers on the Coalition Government’s commitment of $500 million under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to develop the nation’s water infrastructure—comprising $50 million to start the detailed planning necessary to build new water infrastructure, and $450 million for capital works,” Minister Joyce said.
“The fund will support new and augmented water infrastructure, including dams, pipelines and managed aquifer recharge projects around Australia, to secure the nation’s water supplies and to deliver strong economic benefits while also protecting our environment.
“Under the feasibility component of the fund, state and territory governments can apply for funding to undertake the critical early planning work including technical, environmental and economic assessments on specific water infrastructure projects. We have committed $50 million in funding for this component, with $25 million available in the current round.
“The capital works component of the fund will make $450 million available from 2017-18 for co-investments in construction of priority water infrastructure projects, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with states and territories.
“While a range of projects were identified in the White Paper, the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund will be open to other potential projects as priorities change over time. New suggestions and priorities are constantly being provided as the Australian Government consults with state and territory governments and other potential investors.
“Having the right water infrastructure in the right place will help us grow our economy, meet future challenges and manage this vital resource responsibly.
“Water security is a serious issue in this country and the Coalition Government is committed to working to address this in partnership with states and territories. Water and water infrastructure will be critical to our future prosperity, particularly our agricultural industries and in regional areas.
“As I travel around the country, water security and infrastructure are important to many in the community so I’m pleased that we are now getting on with the first steps of planning for projects to secure water for our future.
“I have written to all the state and territory governments encouraging them to apply and I encourage other organisations to partner with their relevant state government to help plan for the nation-building projects we need to secure our water into the future.
“This is another example of the tangible measures we outlined in the Ag White Paper and our commitment to delivering for farmers, business and the community.”
Expressions of Interest close on 21 January 2016. Details of the Expression of Interest process, guidelines and information about the Fund are available at agriculture.gov.au/water-infrastructure