NSW Nationals Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson says water security is a key part of the NSW Budget with $170 million to fast track critical water and infrastructure projects in drought stricken areas.
Mr Anderson, whose electorate is one of those particularly hard-hit by the drought, said the pressure from an unprecedented drought meant that every drop must count until there was relief.
“Water security for our struggling communities remains a major focus of mine and I know the Government is aware of the need,” Mr Anderson said. “We are at critical stage, we need to save absolutely every drop in Chaffey Dam and we will be working towards that in the short term as well as focusing on longer term solutions so that we never find ourselves in this situation again.”
Thanks to the Nationals in Government, rural and regional NSW is at the heart of this budget, with an increased $355 million investment in drought relief, taking the total investment in drought assistance to $1.8 billion. This relief isn’t a handout, but a handshake with rural and regional communities who are doing it tough.
“A solution to fix our water problems needs to be found quickly and I will be working day and night to find the right solution.”
“I am confident that funding from the safe and secure water program will be allocated to support our communities and ultimately build more water capacity,” Mr Anderson said. “We need to look at short term immediate solutions as well as longer term like building dams. As part of supporting our farmers during this terrible, the budget has increased the support package including $30 million for rebates of fixed charges on water licences that don’t receive a water allocation. This will include areas in the Peel and Namoi River valleys. A further $500,000 is allocated to work with water-dependent industries, such as mines and abattoirs, to help them become more water efficient and keep them operating during this drought.”