Budget 2021-22: Delivering Australia's water future

The Government is continuing to deliver on a National Water Grid to help improve water security in our regions.

The 2021-22 Budget invests up to a further $258 million, including up to $160 million through the National Water Grid Connections pathway, from the $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund towards the construction of new and augmented water infrastructure projects, building a more resilient and secure Australia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Federal Government was investing $75.7 million towards an additional four new construction projects.

“This will deliver increased water security, build resilience in our regions, deliver jobs and grow our critical agriculture sector,” the Deputy Prime Minister said. 

“This ongoing investment in water infrastructure builds on the eight construction projects already completed since our establishment of the National Water Grid Authority in late 2019, bringing the total number of construction projects in the investment pipeline to 30.”

The new and augmented construction projects being funded in partnership with states include:

  • Eurobodalla Southern Storage (New South Wales) – $51.2 million.
  • Werribee Irrigation District Modernisation (Victoria) – $11.0 million.
  • Recycled Water on the Bellarine (Victoria) – $5.5 million.
  • Warwick Recycled Water for Agriculture (Queensland) – $0.5 million.
  • An additional $7.5 million for Rookwood Weir ($183.6 million in total) to enhance our existing investment in delivering water security in north Queensland by raising the weir wall a further 700 millimetres, which will yield an additional 10,000 megalitres of water.

This builds on recent announcements, including $22.3 million towards the development of eight business cases for water infrastructure projects, as well as a new funding pathway, the National Water Grid Connections, which will drive the construction of smaller-scale projects over the next two years.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the 2021-22 Budget would continue to help increase water security in areas where extensive irrigated agriculture already exists, while also helping to unlock new agricultural regions, especially in Australia’s north.

“We are delivering on building bigger water infrastructure and we will also deliver on the smaller scale infrastructure projects which promote local economic activity and job creation,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This is building on progress already underway right across Australia with projects such as Rookwood Weir construction and Urannah Dam business case in Queensland; the commencement of the Phase 2 of the Macalister Irrigation District modernisation project in Victoria and the completion of the business case for the Don Irrigation Scheme in Tasmania.”

The Australian Government’s National Water Grid Investment Framework is supporting the development of a long-term pipeline of nationally important water infrastructure investments, backed by the world’s best science.

For further information, please visit www.nationalwatergrid.gov.au.

Media Contact:

Deputy Prime Minister – Dean Shachar 0418 202 860 | Caitlin Donaldson 0428 389 880