Media Release

Dams and water infrastructure investment: your views count

20 October 2014

The water infrastructure ministerial working group, chaired by Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce, has today outlined its recommendations for water infrastructure projects as part of the Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper.

Minister Joyce said that the ministerial working group identified a series of water infrastructure projects across Australia to assist in meeting future water demands that could have the potential for Commonwealth involvement.

"Effective water infrastructure will be critical to the profitability and productivity of Australian agriculture into the future," Minister Joyce said.

"Earlier this year I chaired a ministerial working group to identify how investment in dams and other water infrastructure could be accelerated and we shortlisted potential projects that can deliver Australia’s water supply needs in the future.

"We have now done the hard yards and taken an important step towards stimulating the discussion about how we get viable projects moving."

Minister Joyce said the working group consulted with states and territories to consider projects worthy of further investigation and consideration by governments.

"And I am holding a National Water Infrastructure Roundtable on Wednesday, 29 October, in Canberra to progress discussions with key financiers, constructors and industry leaders, involved in water infrastructure," Minister Joyce said.

"It's essential that we get this right – industry consultation will be central to the process."

The working group will be consulting government, industry and local communities on the perceived barriers to water infrastructure development and exploring ways to facilitate investment in water infrastructure.

"State and Territory Governments, Local Government and the private sector all have a role in water infrastructure development. We are seeking community and stakeholder views on the role that government should play to improve investment in water infrastructure projects," Minister Joyce said.

Minister Joyce said growth in the agricultural sector depended on the sustainable use of natural resources and the right water infrastructure in the right places.

"The group's water infrastructure options paper was developed so that its outcomes could be considered as part of the White Papers on Developing Northern Australia and Agricultural Competitiveness," Minister Joyce said.

"We all have a responsibility to ensure our vital water resources are managed effectively to meet future needs, which is why I encourage those with a passion for agriculture to have your say."

To read the green paper, or provide a submission in response, visit: https://agriculturalcompetitiveness.dpmc.gov.au