Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has declared the Nationals want to build more dams, announcing half a billion dollars for water projects.

The massive increase to the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund will bolster the delivery of transformational water projects for regional communities.

The Nationals in Government secured the funding increase of more than $500 million, which will be used to work with State and Territory Governments to identify and co-fund the construction of new water infrastructure projects across regional Australia.

“We aren’t afraid to back dams. We want to build more of them,” Mr McCormack said. “If we want to create jobs and grow regional Australia then we need to add water. This announcement will turbocharge the construction of water infrastructure in regional Australia because our agricultural industries expect it and our communities deserve it.”

“This is yet another investment the Nationals in Government are making in regional communities to ensure water security and help create jobs and opportunities in the regions.”

Mr McCormack said water was the life-blood of regional communities and this historic injection of funds will be a game-changer for many communities.

“This funding pipeline represents the single biggest commitment to investment for building water infrastructure across the nation,” Mr McCormack said. “Access to secure and affordable water is critical to the lives of many Australians in regional areas and investment in water infrastructure is vital to keep Australia thriving, especially during tough times of extended drought. Having the right water infrastructure in the right place will provide greater opportunities for new and expanded high value irrigated agriculture.”

“This is not just about storing water in times when it is dry, it is also about protecting communities through flood mitigation in times when it is incredibly wet.”

The expansion of the fund to more than $1 billion as well as the existing $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility program, means more than $3 billion is now available from the Federal Government to support State and Territory Governments and their project partners, to build new water infrastructure and provide greater social and economic opportunity for Australians.

“The Nationals have invested in water infrastructure the likes of which have never been seen in places across the nation,” Mr McCormack said. “We believe in dams and water security and are investing to make it a reality for regional Australians. This announcement is exciting for regional Australians, who understand full well the importance of water storage and underlines that as a government we don’t just talk about it we got on and do it.”

Further information on the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund is available here.