Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair today announced that a NSW Liberals &
Nationals Government will partner with the Commonwealth Government to invest $26
million in the popular Great Artesian Basin Infrastructure Investment program.
Mr Blair said the investment will see the Government partner with locals to boost their
drought resilience by capping free-flowing bores and installing new water supply
infrastructure such as pipes, tanks and troughs.
“We know that many of the 1400 bores tapping the Great Artesian Basin have stopped
flowing, which is reducing landholder access to water and adding additional pressures
to local councils securing their communities in times of drought,” Mr Blair said.
The NSW Liberals & Nationals have committed more funding to regional water
infrastructure in eight years than Labor managed to in 16 years, with $1.4 billion in
new funding committed from the NSW Government since 2015.
The program will benefit communities across Barwon like Walgett, Coonamble,
Lightening Ridge, Bourke and Moree as well as Dubbo and the Northern Tablelands.
“Over the next four years rehabilitating groundwater pressure will increase drought
resilience. Typically, as surface water availability declines, town water supply and
industry will increasingly rely upon groundwater resources.
“This program is critical in ensuring the pressure of the Great Artesian Basin so that
our landholders and local councils can have access to water at a high pressure to
support their livestock and communities during times of drought, such as we are
The Great Artesian Basin is one of the largest underground freshwater resources in
the world. It lies below 25 per cent of NSW, supporting a population of more than
To date, the Great Artesian Basin Infrastructure Investment Program has helped NSW
save 78,500 ML of water every year;
supply approximately 4.2 million ha with reliable, efficient and strategically
located watering points;
control 398 free flowing bores;
remove over 10,000 km of bore drains;
install 18,000 km of piping;
reduce salt discharge to the landscape by 62,800 tonnes every year; and
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 41,600 tonnes every year.
This new funding boost is in addition to the NSW Liberals & Nationals commitment to
invest $1.4 billion on water security projects from the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy
Fund, including $650 million to raise Wyangala Dam wall to deliver water security and
flood mitigation along the Lachlan River.
MEDIA: Evie Madden | Minister Blair | 0409 682 163