Getting Walcha drought-ready

Walcha will soon benefit from increased water security thanks to an off-stream water storage project.

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said this project is co-funded under the Australian Government’s National Water Grid Connections funding pathway, through the $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund.

“Connections recognises that small-scale infrastructure projects individually may make localised improvements to water outcomes, while collectively they can make nationally significant contributions to the National Water Grid,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The Australian Government is providing $108 million to deliver 40 new projects through the National Water Grid Connections funding pathway, improving water security and reliability across the nation – including right here in regional New South Wales.”

The Walcha Off-Stream Water Storage project is being co-funded through the NSW Government’s Regional Stimulus package and NSW Drought response fund.

State Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the new off-stream storage will help to protect the community during future droughts.

“The Walcha community has been faced with water restrictions for two out of the past five years, due to a lack of local water storage capacity and limits around the volume of water that reaches local river systems,” Mr Anderson said.

“This investment will be spent on a new 300-megalitre dam, providing much-needed water reliability and security to the community and local agricultural businesses, particularly during periods of drought.

“As this project moves from planning to construction and completion, the Walcha community can expect to see a boost in jobs and economic activity, and I look forward to seeing the community thrive on the back of this investment.”

NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the new reservoir means increased water security for the Walcha region.

“We are working together to create stronger and more resilient communities across our regions to ensure they are better protected from the devastation of drought events and have the infrastructure they need to grow and flourish,” Mrs Pavey said.

“The planning work has been completed and this project is ready to go, which means the community will soon benefit from local jobs during construction, as well as ongoing employment opportunities once the dam is completed.

“This will provide a great boost to the Walcha economy now and for many years to come.”

Construction on the off-stream storage is expected to be complete by November 2022.

The New South Wales Connections package is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($15.8 million) and the NSW Government alongside other partners ($24.3 million) and consists of five projects: Lake Wyangan Water Sustainability project, Walcha Off-Stream Water Storage, West Wyalong Water Reliability project, Broken Hill to Menindee Graziers Pipeline and Urbenville Water Supply project.

For more information, visit www.nationalwatergrid.gov.au.

Media contacts:

Deputy Prime Minister – Tim Klingner | 0436 807 792 | Tim.Klingner@aph.gov.au

Minister Pavey – Imogen Posa|0439 349 978 | Imogen.Posa@minister.nsw.gov.au

Minister Anderson – Luke Massey | 0417 184 087 | Luke.Massey@parliament.nsw.gov.au