Farmers and residents across the Western Plains region of New South Wales could soon have better access to the water they need to support and grow their businesses.
The Australian and New South Wales governments have committed $9.7 million to undertake a business case into the construction of a re-regulating gated weir, fishway and supporting infrastructure on the Macquarie-Wambuul river between the townships of Warren and Narromine.
If progressed, a new weir holding up to 6,000 megalitres could increase water availability by up to 17 gigalitres per year for the Macquarie-Wambuul communities.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said getting water to where it’s needed will drive the region’s growth and economic prosperity.
“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government is getting the job done, building the water infrastructure Australians need to live, grow and get ahead,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“A safe and reliable water supply would help unlock the economic potential of new and expanded agricultural opportunities, and this business case is the first step toward helping achieve this across the Western Plains.
“When farmers have the water they need, they can grow their business which means more jobs, more economic opportunities and a better standard of living for them and the people they employ.”
NSW Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said providing a holistic approach to water security for towns, businesses and the environment is crucial for the region’s future growth.
“Water security is important and that is why we are continuing to analyse the best options to secure water for people and the environment for the long term,” Mr Anderson said.
“This funding will allow for more comprehensive technical and environmental studies to be completed to ensure we understand the benefits and potential impacts of all options.
“The Macquarie-Wambuul Water Security Scheme will consider new pipelines, increased storage, upgrading existing infrastructure and enhancing water delivery through to the Macquarie Marshes.
“We’re also considering a 6,000-megalitre, state-of-the-art re-regulating weir, including a fishway between Warren and Narromine, to increase water access reliability by 17 gigalitres per year and boost resilience for the region.”
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the Australian Government is serious about delivering the water infrastructure local farmers need to grow and prosper.
“Water is the lifeblood for communities across the Parkes electorate and this investment will help identify the right infrastructure to shore up local water supply and security in the Western Plains, growing our world-renowned agriculture sector and building resilience to drought in communities across the region,” Mr Coulton said.
“This will, in turn, help to create jobs and boost economic activity, ensuring the future prosperity of these communities.
“We have listened to farmers’ concerns about water supply and security, and we are acting by investing in critical projects through our $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund.”
The Australian Government has committed $5.4 million toward the Macquarie-Wambuul Water Security Scheme business case, with New South Wales providing $4.3 million.
For more information on the National Water Grid, visit www.nationalwatergrid.gov.au.