WATER INFRASTRUCTURE BOOST FOR BURNETT REGION

The Federal Liberal and Nationals’ Government has committed $2 million for a feasibility study to investigate options for new infrastructure to increase water supply and security in Queensland’s North and South Burnett regions.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack welcomed the feasibility study announcement, which forms part of a historic expansion of the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, of more than $500 million.

Mr McCormack said the expansion of more than $500 million includes a feasibility component of $30 million, which is being used to support State and Territory Governments with finalising the design and approval of activities which are required to progress critical water infrastructure projects towards construction.

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

“The $2 million we are committing for the Burnett regions feasibility study further demonstrates that we are getting on with the job of supporting communities to work with the States and Territories and Federal Government, to identify, plan and build new water infrastructure,” Mr McCormack said.

Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud said water means wealth and jobs in the regions.

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

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

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd also welcomed the announcement which will help to drive economic and social growth, in regional Queensland.

“The feasibility study is great news for farmers in the region as it will examine a range of options and identify solutions to increase water supply that would underpin an expansion of irrigated agriculture, delivering new jobs and economic growth in the North and South Burnett regions,” he said.

“Through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, we have committed over $426 million to get construction underway on a series of key water infrastructure projects in Queensland.

“This includes $54 million for Hells Gates Dam, $182 million for the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme, $176 million for Rookwood Weir, $11 million for the Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme and $3 million for the Nogoa Mackenzie Water Supply Scheme.

“We have also provided nearly $25 million for 15 feasibility studies to identify potential new water infrastructure projects that could increase water supply and security for farmers, businesses and communities in Queensland.”

The Fund’s expansion to more than $1 billion, as well as the existing $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility program, means more than $3 billion is now available from the Federal Government to support State and Territory Governments and their project partners, to build new water infrastructure and provide greater social and economic opportunity for Australians.

Further information on the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund is available at https://infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/water-infrastructure/nwi-development-fund/.

Hannah Maguire