NSW speeds up drought relief
The New South Wales Government has announced further details of the latest tranche of Safe and Secure Water program, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian detailing further measures of the $1 billion program.
“We have stood with our farmers every step of the way – we are delivering more than $1 billion in drought relief measures and now we are taking it up yet another step to ensure our regional communities have a safe and secure water supply,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Our focus now is on future-proofing the state – not just farmers but also the regional communities that rely on them. We want to see our farmers through this drought, we want to see them through recovery but we also want to make sure we have the best infrastructure in place to prepare communities for future droughts.”
The government has claimed that the announcement will see a significant reduction in wait times and will prioritise the highest risk areas first under the program.
The State Government has already invested $500 million from the program to secure Broken Hill’s long-term water supply through the Wentworth to Broken Hill Pipeline with the remaining $500 million to be dedicated to water security projects being fast-tracked
Under the updated program:
The NSW Government will work with each local council on their infrastructure needs, rather than requiring them to go through an expensive and time consuming application process;
10 new engineers and 6 new infrastructure, planning and water security specialists will be deployed to help local councils to develop water security projects;
Projects will no longer need to meet a rigid cost benefit ratio requirement as part of the assessment process; and
Program funding will be prioritised to address the highest risks first, ensuring communities receive the infrastructure they need.