Government delivers $129 million to improve Murray-Darling Basin water infrastructure

30 June 2020

The Coalition Government continues to support the Murray-Darling Basin plan with over $129 million committed to New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian governments for projects that will improve water infrastructure in local communities.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said it is critical to minimise the impact of water reform on Basin communities, and the program will fund pre-construction activities for projects that reduce the need to recover water from irrigators. 

“Improving water infrastructure is a significant priority for our nation,” Minister Pitt said.

“In Victoria, environmental projects at nine sites along the River Murray are being developed to return more natural flows across approximately 14,000 hectares of high value Murray River floodplain. 

“In New South Wales, seven projects will enable more efficient water management to improve floodplains and wetlands in the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Lower Darling Rivers.  

“And in South Australia, the projects will result in environmental benefits from enhanced floodplain inundation while mitigating potential impacts to private and public land and infrastructure.”

The net effect of ensuring success for these projects will be to save water for irrigators while meeting environmental water commitments.

“Since 2018, the Federal Government has been working with all Murray-Darling Basin state and territory governments to implement projects under the Basin Plan, which enables 605 gigalitres of water to remain in use by irrigators and farmers,” Minister Pitt said.

“In 2019-20, we have approved payments of more than $20 million to New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia for pre-construction activities for supply and constraints measures. This brings the total payments to date to $24 million for design work, technical studies, modelling and surveying and consultation with local communities.

“This work demonstrates the commitment of all stakeholder governments to the successful implementation of the Basin Plan.

“Each investment we make is an essential step towards safeguarding the Murray-Darling Basin for future generations.” Minister Pitt said.

Fast Facts:

  • Supply and constraints measures help achieve the Basin Plan’s environmental outcomes while enabling 605GL of water to remain in the consumptive pool for use by water users like farmers and other irrigators. 
  • These measures improve efficiency of delivering water to the environment and overcome physical barriers to water delivery through the system.