11 Aug 2021

Two projects in New England are among 40 water infrastructure projects nationwide that will share in $108 million in Federal funding under the National Water Grid Connections funding pathway.

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the Government is pleased to support projects that will improve the resilience and reliability of New England’s water infrastructure, ensuring a stronger future for water security across the region.

Allocations will include $2 million towards the Walcha Off-Stream Water Storage project.

Walcha Mayor, Eric Noakes has described the funding as “fantastic news.”

“This will get the project built. It will go a long way towards securing the town’s water supply during dry periods and will provide the town with a new level of confidence for future growth and prosperity,” Mayor Noakes said.

A further $779,000 has been allocated  to the Urbenville Water Supply project north of Tenterfield and has been greeted with equal enthusiasm by Tenterfield Shire Mayor, Peter Petty.

“I thank Barnaby Joyce for his continued support of our efforts to upgrade the water holding tanks at the Urbenville water filtration plant.

“This plant also supplies treated water to the Aboriginal settlement of Mulli Mulli and the town of Woodenbong. The $779,000 will go a long way towards getting the job done,” Mayor Petty said.

Mr Joyce, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said, “The Australian Government is investing in packages of water infrastructure projects, brought forward by states and territories right across the country to improve water reliability and efficiency.

“The National Water Grid Connections is about driving the construction of smaller-scale projects over the next two years to provide short term economic stimulus,” Mr Joyce said.

"The cumulative impact for the National Water Grid will be significant. Collectively, these projects are expected to support over 7,000 hectares of irrigable land and connect 400 new customers. An additional 13,000 customers are expected to benefit from improved water access or reliability.

Mr Joyce said, “Up to 1,175 jobs will be supported during construction, with over 2,550 ongoing and up to 500 more seasonal jobs set to be created nationally.

“The $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund is paving the way to national water security, while promoting local economic activity and job creation along the way,” Mr Joyce said.

Up to $20 million was made available for each state and territory to deliver projects over the next two years, with an Australian Government contribution of up to $5 million per project.

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