Work has now started on the $11 million 300 megalitre Off Stream storage project at Walcha to help drought-proof the town’s water supply.
The project was announced last year by former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, with $2 million coming from the National Water Grid Fund and $9 million from the NSW Government’s Safe and Secure Water Program.
The new storage dam is being built on a small tributary of the MacDonald River, 16 kilometres from the existing water treatment infrastructure.
The project also includes upgrading a river offtake pumping station, upgrades to the water inlet structure, new access roads and fencing, and new pipework to connect the dam to the nearby town water supply pump station.
Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the project is expected to be finished by the middle of next year.
“It was fantastic to announce the approval of the Walcha Off Stream Storage project last year, thanks to the National Water Grid Fund under the former Coalition Government.”
“I am fighting every day to secure water security for the New England, stopping extensive water restrictions as we drought-proof the electorate.
“This project is so important for Walcha, giving current and future businesses ease of mind should we face another drought,” Mr Joyce said.
Walcha Shire Council Mayor, Cr Eric Noakes said the Walcha Off Stream Storage project is one of the most important water infrastructure projects in the region’s history and will go a long way towards creating a stronger, more resilient community.
“The new storage dam has been the number one priority for Walcha Council because it will enable us to be better prepared to face the devastation of drought events by providing a safer and more secure source of drinking water.”
“Having shovels in the ground is also a major win for Walcha’s economy because projects of this size create jobs and put more money in the till for local businesses,” Cr Noakes said.