Monday, 19th November 2018
Macdonald Welcomes Further $500m For Water Projects
The Liberal National Federal Government has today announced it will increase the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF) by $500 million.
The NWIDF was announced under the Government’s 2015 Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia (the White Paper) as a $500 million national fund, with $200 million ear-marked for projects in Northern Australia.
Northern-based Senator Ian Macdonald, one of the authors of the White Paper, has hailed the extension of the NWIDF as proof that the Government is listening to regional communities, particularly those who are drought declared.
“The NWIDF has already funded seventeen critical feasibility studies across the north. These have included the studies into the Hells Gate Dam, the Haughton Channel, into the raising of the Burdekin Dam wall, and the Urannah Dam to the West of Mackay. All of these projects have the potential to transform water security in and around Townsville, and across the entire electors of Dawson to the south.”
“The Fund has also made the Rookwood Weir on the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton a reality, transforming agricultural opportunities in the central Queensland electorates of Capricornia and Flynn.
Senator Macdonald said that the new funding of $500 million will go towards critical water infrastructure across the nation.
“We are already looking at vital aquifer recharge projects in the north, as well as the next stages for major projects that have had their feasibility confirmed by the first round of funding.
“And of course we will be looking very closely, in conjunction with other water infrastructure programs, at drought-affected communities across the nation, and at what can be done to assist with water security in the areas that are struggling.
Senator Macdonald also said that the NWIDF will help to encourage private sector investment into water security.
“By creating the impetus for these projects, and starting the foundational works, the federal Government is creating an environment where the private sector may be more willing to invest.
“Coupled with the Commonwealth governments’ concessional finance facilities – the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and the $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility – the conditions for more opportunities in water security are absolutely right.
“The Liberal National Government is very serious about securing Australia’s water future.