1 April 2014
FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce’s appointment as chair of the newly formed ministerial working group to identify new infrastructures delivering Australia’s future water supply has begun with the promise to see Chaffey Dam completed.
Mr Joyce told a media doorstop in Tamworth now that the approvals for Chaffey Dam were completed at a Federal and State level it was, “just a case of getting this piece of vital infrastructure for Tamworth and the New England constructed and completed”.
“It’s also important we look at other areas in our electorate and throughout the nation where we can go about the construction of dams,” Mr Joyce said.
“He said water infrastructure had to keep pace with economic opportunities in Australia’s region and with national population growth.
“Australia’s population is expected to reach 35 million by 2050 and we also have to take advantage of the growing wealth of hundreds of millions of people who live close by,” he said.
Mr Joyce said the storage capacity of water in Australia per capita, was falling and the government must get the country into a position where, “we’ll be exposed in dry periods as we have seen lately”.
Mr Joyce said the committee had a list of more than 100 potential dam sites to examine as possible projects.
He said the dam site on the Apsley River, in the Walcha Shire would be one of those examined. Work had already begun on the foundations of the dam before then NSW Premier Neville Wran halted work in July 1983.
“This ministerial working group gives us the opportunity to prioritise our water and infrastructure needs – both by upgrading existing infrastructure or building new infrastructure, and some of these are already in the pipeline.”