National Water Grid Authority for the future

The Liberal and Nationals Government is ensuring future water security for inland Australia with today’s launch of the $100 million National Water Grid Authority, delivering on a key 2019 Election commitment.

The National Water Grid Authority will be a holistic oversight body which will utilise the world’s best minds, scientists and local knowledge to assess the myriad of water diversion and storage proposals and provide a science based approach to the future requirements of Australia’s water infrastructure.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Authority will play a key role in shaping national water infrastructure policy and identify opportunities to build water infrastructure that will secure long-term water supplies across the country.

“It’s has been too long since we built a major dam in this country, way back in 1987 and as we highlighted during the election, this government is establishing the National Water Grid to take out the state-based politics and insert the science with a national-based approach to water security for Australia’s Future,” Mr McCormack said.

“Water is the lifeblood of our nation and we owe it to our primary producers and regional communities to deliver long-term sustainable water infrastructure to boost agriculture that will support the growth of regional Australia and meet the demands of a growing population.

“Doctor John Bradfield understood drought was part of the Australian landscape 81-years-ago when he designed an ambitious water infrastructure plan to divert water from the coastal rivers of North Queensland inland across the Great Dividing Range. This visionary thinking is what a 21st Century National Water Grid will deliver for Australia.

“The Authority will commence on 1 October this year and build on the $993.1 million we’ve already committed from the $1.3 billion National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to fund the construction of 21 water infrastructure projects with a total construction value of more than $1.98 billion.

“Working with state and territory governments, the Authority will develop a national framework to identify priority water infrastructure initiatives, including strategies to harness and harvest water storage and supply systems across Australia, to support the growth of primary industries and regional communities.