A re-elected NSW Nationals will invest $1.25 billion in regional communities’ water supplies, helping them become more drought resilient and support population growth.
NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water Kevin Humphries today announced the once-in-a-generation investment would fund five major regional water security programs across the State.
The Rebuilding NSW Regional Water Security and Supply Fund will deliver $1 billion – with a further $250 million allocated under Restart NSW – to meet the water challenges in regional communities, including drinking water quality, water demand in growing towns and villages, drought security, dam safety and inadequate wastewater treatment.
Mr Grant said the $1.25 billion fund would address the key challenges facing regional NSW water supplies: health, security and the pressure on local economies.
“This funding represents the most significant single investment in regional NSW’s water supplies in the State’s history,” Mr Grant said.
“As part of the Restart NSW funding, $110 million will go towards clearing a backlog of 71 projects in country towns affected by ongoing sewerage problems.
“It’s shameful that some of our regional communities are still living with water quality standards akin to third world countries. Every Australian deserves good quality water supplies and it’s up to Government to deliver them.”
Mr Humphries said the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government had led the charge in delivering significant water infrastructure projects, increasing water security and ensuring access for primary producers.
“In stark contrast, Labor has no vision, no funding and no commitment to address the State’s water security challenges,” Mr Humphries said.
“For too long, some of our smallest rural towns have suffered inadequate wastewater treatment and supply issues. Some towns have been dealing with these issues for up to 20 years, as they waited for successive Governments to stop kicking the can along.
“Drought shows us how important water is to regional communities – water is the lifeblood of our country towns and we can’t afford to have it tainted and unhealthy for consumption.
“Through Rebuilding NSW funding, we will commit up to $550 million to deliver water infrastructure in the State’s priority catchments of the Upper Hunter, Gwydir, Macquarie, and Lachlan river systems, helping reduce drought conditions crippling local economies.”