Dungowan Dam slashed in the 2023 Budget

Dungowan Dam slashed in the 2023 Budget

11 May 2023


10 May 2023

Labor has abandoned water security projects worth $872.5 million and put a razor gang to the $120 billion infrastructure pipeline, putting all regional programs in doubt.


For the New England, Dungowan Dam is not just in doubt, but has been provided a special line in Budget Paper number 2, stating that the Labor Federal Government will not be proceeding with $595 million for the project over 7 years from 2026, claiming that the business case did not provide sufficient support for construction.


Stage 1 of the project has been completed, with the 55km underground pipeline installed running from the Calala Water Treatment Plant at Tamworth to the Dungowan Showgrounds. The Environmental Impact Statement is complete with the NSW State Authority expecting to have assessed all the public submissions of the statement by the end of 2023.  This is a major infrastructure project that is already well underway, and Labor have put the tools down half way through the job to go repair a roof on a building in Canberra instead.


This is Labor’s thanks to the people of the New England and the City of Tamworth.  Dungowan Dam, which we have all fought so hard and for so long is gone.  Labor takes us all for granted. We, Regional Australia, put the product on the boat that gave them the surplus and the thanks we get is there in black and white. Please spare us the novelty visit and election platitudes about Regional Australia when what you offer is wind factories and massive power bills.


In addition to slashing the Dungowan Dam project, Labor will also force local communities to wait two years to access regional grant programs, with funding that was available in 2022 under the Coalition now delayed until well into 2024. Labor has pushed back critical funding needed for the New England, while only targeting projects worth more than $1 million. It means smaller projects like sports ovals, playgrounds and libraries will be ineligible for funding in most communities.


Not only is the Albanese government making us pay for their spending, they are also taking away our future by ripping away the tools we need to produce more and get it on your table cheaper.


Regional Australia has greatly contributed to delivering this surplus budget and the reward it is getting from this Labor government is the introduction of a new food tax on Australian families, right in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.


This new tax will force Australian farmers to pay for the biosecurity risk of international importers. This is senseless and will be passed on to consumers, which means even higher grocery bills for all Australians. The people of Regional Australia deserve more, they deserve better. Let’s not wait till the water runs dry Labor, because so will the river of surplus.


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