The NSW Nationals in both state and federal governments are demonstrating their commitment to the regions by investing more funding toward much-needed dams.

Last week, the NSW Nationals in the federal government doubled their cash contribution to the Wyangala and Dungowan Dam projects, providing an additional $283.5 million.

Deputy Prime Minister and federal Nationals Leader Michael McCormack said this new cash investment for the two projects, as part of the 2020-21 Budget, showed how serious the Australian Government was about getting these dams built.

“These dams will increase inland water storage by the equivalent of 1.2 Sydney Harbours and we want to see benefits flowing to local communities as soon as possible,” Mr McCormack said.

“We want to deliver critical water infrastructure projects for rural and regional communities because increased water security supports growth in Australian agriculture, creating new jobs and supporting existing ones as we build greater resilience to drought and floods.

“We know the economic road out of this pandemic relies on funding major infrastructure to support local communities and create jobs and these dam projects will do exactly that.

“Negotiations on the funding agreement for the Dungowan and Wyangala projects are close to being finalised and main construction works will begin after the environmental approvals are in place.”

Last year the NSW Nationals in the state and federal governments committed to co-fund the construction of these projects, along with $12 million each towards the development of a detailed $24 million business case for the proposed Mole River Dam. This new capital grant funding replaces previous loan arrangements agreed with the NSW Government.

The National Water Infrastructure Development Fund is the Australian Government’s investment in building the next generation of water infrastructure, which will secure reliable supplies of water now and into the future.

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Fast facts

Wyangala Dam
What we are doing:
•Raise the embankment and downstream rockstream rockfill to add an additional 650 GL of storage.
•Raise the spillway and intake towers of the dam by 10 metres.

Benefits to the community:
•Increase storage capacity by 53% by creating capacity for an additional 650 GL (to 1,218 GL).
•A significant improvement in drought resilience, water security, flood attenuation and water reliability for the Lachlan Valley.
•Maximising local opportunities from the construction of the project.
•Increasing capability to manage high flow / flood events.
•Improve water security for agriculture, for example vegetable and some cereal crops.

Dungowan Dam
What we are doing:
•Construction of a new 22.5GL Dungowan Dam on the Dungowan River, approximately 3.5km downstream of the existing Dungowan Dam.

Benefits to the community:
•Increase storage capacity from 6.3GL to 22.5GL.
•Ensures 5.65GL average annual use for agriculture – beef, sheep, grain, dairy and poultry.
•Secure long-term water supply security for Tamworth.
•Increase town water supply by around 7GL per annum.