Australian Government delivers on its Water for Australia plan

The Government is delivering on its Water for Australia plan to future-proof Australia’s water resources. National investments in critical water infrastructure projects are a key feature of this Budget. We are delivering more than $2 billion for the Water for Australia Plan.  

Despite damaging floods being experienced by many parts of Australia currently, the country will face water shortages and drought again in the future. 

The Water for Australia projects are economically and environmentally responsible and will secure access to water for all Australians, for industry and for the environment.

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan will be delivered in full as was agreed between the Commonwealth and Basin jurisdictions over a decade ago and reconfirmed at the recent Ministerial Council. But action backed by spending is urgently needed to get the Plan back on track. 

Delivering on water commitments 

The Government will fulfil its election promise to deliver the Basin Plan.

This includes:

  • Delivering Murray-Darling Basin Plan commitments to return water to the environment. Significant funding has been set aside but is not for publication due to commercial sensitivities. 
  • $22.9 million to update the science to ensure the impacts of climate change are accounted for in managing Murray-Darling Basin water resources.
  • $29.0 million to improve trust and transparency in Murray-Darling Basin water management, including metering and monitoring of water use.
  • Restoring transparency, integrity and confidence in Murray-Darling Basin water markets, after dodgy behaviour that was rife under the Liberals and Nationals. Funding has been set aside but is not for publication due to commercial sensitivities.

Delivering water security

Risks to Australia’s water security are escalating due to climate change, population growth and aging infrastructure. Many areas have seen a decade of neglect. The Australian Government is investing in long-term water security through a range of evidence-based science, planning and construction projects. 

We’re delivering over $1.1 billion in water infrastructure projects:

  • $600.0 million towards the Paradise Dam Improvement project in Queensland.
  • $107.5 million towards the Cairns Water Security – Stage 1 project in Queensland.
  • $3.5 million towards the Mount Morgan Water Supply project in Queensland.
  • $100.0 million towards the Pipeline to Prosperity Tranche 3 projects in Tasmania. 
  • $300.6 million towards the Darwin Region Water Supply – Stage 1 in the Northern Territory.
  • $7.1 million towards the Adelaide River Science project in the Northern Territory.
  • $23.0 million towards the Nyngan to Cobar Pipeline – Stage 1 in New South Wales.
  • $11.5 million towards strategic planning for improving water security in Queensland.
  • $8.0 million in additional funding towards Big Rocks Weir in Queensland.
  • $12.5 million towards groundwater improvement and water efficiency in the lower Burdekin, Queensland.

On top of these strategic projects, this Budget includes $1 billion dollars for future water security investments, including in the Burdekin region.

The Government will also broaden the remit of the National Water Grid Investment Framework to allow funding for a broader range of projects, including essential town water supplies in regional and remote communities.

The Australian Government is committed to responsible investment in water infrastructure, based on scientific evidence and business cases that stack up economically and environmentally. 

Quotes from the Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek:

“The Australian Government will deliver a strong, secure and sensible national water plan for the future – for towns and communities, for industry, and for the environment. All three go hand in hand. 

“We are delivering over $1.1 billion in water infrastructure projects around the country, to help deliver water security to communities and for industry. 

“After nearly a decade of broken promises and dodgy behaviour under the Liberals and Nationals, we will restore trust and integrity to water policy. 

“Constructive and collaborative discussions with state governments and stakeholders have already begun. They will continue as we roll out our new Water Grid Investment Framework.”