The release of the NSW Nationals in the state government’s expansive and successful water budget stands in stark contrast to Labor which still has no plan to deliver safe, secure ,and reliable water to NSW communities.
Nationals Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said the 2022-23 NSW Budget commits $1.1 billion to water projects and planning across NSW, while Labor has once again failed to outline any plan when it comes to our most valuable asset.
“The NSW Government’s budget is about growing the economy and providing support to those communities who need it most, particularly in regional NSW,” Mr Anderson said.
“I listened intently to the Leader of the Opposition and former Shadow Water Minister, anticipating he might seek to match our commitments to water security in NSW.
“Not only did the opposition fail to match our commitment, Labor has failed to commit to a single policy when it comes to water security in this state.
“The only water plan Labor did come up with was a blatantly misleading claim about the future of Sydney Water and Hunter Water. The NSW Government has no plans to privatise water.”
Nationals in government’s water commitment:
• $369.6 million over the next four years for the Safe and Secure Water program. This includes $90 million in new funding to expand the program $19.8 million over the next three years to begin implementing the NSW Water Strategy including:
o Delivering the state’s first Groundwater Strategy
o A dedicated Aboriginal Water Strategy
o Developing Southern Floodplain Management Plans.
• $102.3 million committed as part of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal final price determinations. This funding will be used for water planning and management and rural bulk water services in NSW
• $14.8 million over two years to modernise and streamline the water licensing and approval systems for water users
• $138.6 million over four years to fund regulatory and compliance activity, including money to investigate suspicious activities and alleged breaches of water regulation in NSW and manage dam safety. This funding will also be used to regulate new non-urban metering and prepare for the new floodplain harvesting licensing scheme this government is progressing.
• $8.9 million over four years to maintain assets within the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme to help minimise flood risk across the Newcastle and Hunter regions
• $82.2 million over three years as part of a joint $92.5 million investment from the NSW and Commonwealth Governments to improve critical water supply infrastructure for the towns of Wilcannia and Cobar. This includes the new Wilcannia Weir and Nyngan, Hermidale and Cobar pump stations
• $255.7 million over four years to deliver five accelerated Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism (SDLAM) projects, with funding provided in part by the Commonwealth
• $102 million over two years for the Off-Farm Efficiency Program, including $70 million for Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited to improve water delivery infrastructure to create water savings for the environment.
Labor’s water commitment:
“Access to clean, reliable, safe and secure water is a basic human right and the people of regional NSW can rest easy knowing the Liberals and Nationals in Government continue to represent their best interests,” Mr Anderson said.