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Government announces $500m for water infrastructure projects

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has announced an extra $500 million funding injection to the National Waster Infrastructure Development Fund for the construction of new water infrastructure, including new dams and irrigation projects.

McCormack said the money would be used to work with state governments to identify and co-fund the construction of new water infrastructure projects across regional Australia. The top-up takes the fund to more than $1 billion, after it already sat at $580 million.

“We aren’t afraid to back dams and we want to build more of them. If we want to create jobs and grow regional Australia, then we need to add water,” McCormack said.

“This announcement will turbocharge the construction of water infrastructure in regional Australia because our agricultural industries expect it and our communities deserve it.

“This is yet another investment the Liberal and Nationals’ government is making in regional communities to ensure water security and help create jobs and opportunities in the regions.”

McCormack said that water is the life-blood of regional communities and this historic injection of funds will be a game changer for many communities.

“This funding pipeline represents the single biggest commitment to investment for building water infrastructure across the nation,” McCormack said.

“Access to secure and affordable water is critical to the lives of many Australians in regional areas and investment in water infrastructure is vital to keep Australia thriving, especially during tough times of extended drought.

“Having the right water infrastructure in the right place will provide greater opportunities for new and expanded high-value irrigated agriculture.

“This is not just about storing water in times when it is dry, it is also about protecting communities through flood mitigation in times when it is incredibly wet.”

According to agriculture and water resources minister David Littleproud, water means wealth and jobs in the regions.

“As a formal rural bank manager, I know the value of a megalitre of water to a rural community,” Littleproud said.

“We’re proud to be delivering water and wealth to rural communities.”

Other features of the announcement include a $2 million feasibility study on water supply in Queensland, $1 million to look at the Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme in Western Australia and support for the Coldstream Recycled Water Pipeline in Victoria.

“We have invested in water infrastructure the likes of which have never been seen in places across the nation,” McCormack added.

“From Myalup in regional Western Australia to Queensland’s Roockwood Weir, we believe in dams and water security and are investing to make it a reality for regional Australia.

“This announcement is exciting for regional Australians, who understand full well the importance of water storage and underlines that as a government, we don’t just talk about, we get on and do it.”

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