The Australian Government has partnered with the New South Wales Government to deliver more investment to ensure water savings for the State’s Great Artesian Basin, one of the largest underground water reservoirs in the world.
As a result of a new agreement, New South Wales will be eligible to receive a share of almost $16 million to help assist landholders rehabilitate remaining free flowing bores in the state.
Federal Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Bob Baldwin said the Australian Government had been working with Great Artesian Basin jurisdictions since October 2014 to get the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI) back up and running.
“The Great Artesian Basin is the lifeblood of many rural communities and their related pastoral, agricultural, mining and tourism activities, which is why preserving its water is so important for these communities and the environment,” Mr Baldwin said.
“Uncontrolled flow from bores and open earth bore drains in the Basin threatens the health of important groundwater-dependant ecosystems and access to artesian water by property owners.
“As a government, we’re committed to creating more sustainable communities and the GABSI agreement reduces water wastage.
“I thank the local member Mark Coulton for his work to ensure that this important program continues to deliver results for his communities.”
New South Wales Minister for Lands and Water Niall Blair said the State had now committed to Phase 4 of the program so that capping of remaining uncontrolled bores and piping of open bore drains could commence.
“This program is one of the most vital water saving initiatives in Australia it is essential for improving drought tolerance in communities right across the state,” Minister Blair said.
“The NSW Government is working hand-in-hand with the Commonwealth Government to deliver this important program, which delivers economic, agricultural and environmental benefits to Great Artesian Basin landholders and communities in NSW.”
Minister Blair said that New South Wales would soon be putting forward a list of proposed projects to commence work on some of the 238 bores across the State still to be controlled.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said this was a great outcome for producers and communities dependent on the Great Artesian Basin.
“The success of this project over the last 15 years shouldn’t be underestimated. We’ve seen 309 uncontrolled bores rehabilitated and14,686 km of bore drains replaced with pipelines, but there is still more work to do.
“I’d like to thank many landholders in the Parkes Electorate who have already completed work under this program, which is contributing to annual water savings of more than 67,000 megalitres.”
Andrew Kos 0402 742 206 (Parliamentary Secretary Baldwin)
Siobhan McCarthy 0407 791 802 (Minister Blair)
Amy Welham (02) 6882 0999 (Mr Coulton)