May 11, 2023 | Media Releases, Media Releases 2023

The Budget has damned several inland communities to questionable water security by scrapping nearly $900 million in funding for water infrastructure projects.

The Labor Government has cancelled funding for the Dungowan Dam in New South Wales and Emu Swamp Dam and Pipeline in Queensland leaving those regional communities vulnerable to future water shortages.

Shadow Water Minister, Perin Davey said the Government has ripped nearly $900 million from the National Water Grid Fund, only returning a fraction to three irrigation projects and a couple of business cases.

“The Minister made much of expanding the National Water Grid remit to include water security for regional towns, but she hasn’t followed up with any projects that will actually deliver, nor any funding beyond 2024” Senator Davey said.

“The Dungowan Dam project was designed to help future proof Tamworth and surrounds with estimates the regional centre will grow to a population of over 80,000 by 2040.

“That growth potential can only be realised if the region has a reliable and secure water supply, which at the moment it does not,” she said.

“This Government says they are committed to securing the nation’s water, but their budget does not match their words.

“The Government previously announced $150 million over four years for water security in remote Indigenous communities but the lack of detail is staggering.

“As for the rest of the budget there is nothing that will secure or improve access to water for towns and communities into the future.

“The budget represents a cut to Australia’s water security of more than $500 million in real terms over the forward estimates,” Senator Davey said.

ENDS: 11 May 2023