Joint media release: $25 million metering program to support Northern Murray-Darling Basin communities

9 June 2021

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, the Hon Keith Pitt MP
Queensland Minister for Water, the Hon Glenn Butcher MP
NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing, the Hon Melinda Pavey MP

The Coalition Government is investing $25 million for the Northern Murray-Darling Basin Metering Program that will bolster water compliance and give communities access to faster and more accurate water data. 

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the program would provide $12.5 million each to New South Wales and Queensland to improve metering and expand access to water information. 

“The Coalition Government is investing in new technologies and new approaches to ensure that communities have confidence in the integrity of local water users—the Australian public demands nothing less,” Minister Pitt said.

“This investment will significantly improve the information available to local communities, to water users and to compliance officers across the northern Basin.

“That means improved transparency for water users, better water management outcomes and stronger confidence for communities at the local level. 

“As part of the package we are supporting the implementation of NSW’s new metering framework and providing both NSW and Queensland water users expanded access to accurate, near real-time water information to underpin business decisions. 

Queensland Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said the $12.5 million will improve the capacity to measure and monitor water use in the Murray-Darling Basin over the next three years. 

“This investment in the Rural Water Futures program will give water users in the Murray-Darling Basin more information about water availability and how to best manage water resources.

“The funding will go towards projects testing the accuracy and efficiency of water meters and alternate monitoring approaches such as remote sensing and telemetry systems.” Mr Butcher said.

NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, said the program will build industry capability, provide better access to accurate water information, and expand metering of water take.

“NSW can use the funding to help subsidise the costs of installing telemetry, undertake a metering demonstration project in the Barwon-Darling region, and support First Nations Australians in regional areas to undertake paid metering traineeships.”