Work has begun on the $61.7 million Parkes–Peak Hill Water Supply Project, one of the largest water infrastructure projects in New South Wales.

The project will deliver a suite of water infrastructure upgrades to safeguard water supply and boost drought resilience, funded in partnership between the Australian Government, the New South Wales Government and Parkes Shire Council.

The works are designed to put the region in a stronger position to manage water in a drier climate.

The project is expected to be completed in 2025, with major construction on the pipeline expected to get underway later in 2023.

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, Catherine King, said, “The Australian Government is proud to have committed $11 million to ensure this much-needed water infrastructure project becomes a reality, bolstering drinking water security for the Parkes and Peak Hill communities.

“Our government has an unwavering commitment to continuing to invest in Australia’s regions to create jobs, build opportunity and unlock economic growth and productivity.”

New South Wales Minister for Water, Rose Jackson, said, “It is the priority of the New South Wales Government to ensure regional communities have access to safe and secure water. The $22 million investment is instrumental in getting this key project started.

“This is one of the largest investments in water infrastructure in the Central West region this century and it’s great to see that work is underway to deliver a stronger and more resilient water network for Parkes and Peak Hill.

“We’re putting in 39km of new pipelines, two new pump stations, an upgraded Lachlan River pump station, a new pre-treatment plant at Eugowra Road and a new raw water storage lagoon at the Parkes Water Treatment Plant.

“We need to make sure we are doing everything we can to shore-up water security for the community, especially during dry periods. The project will more than double Parkes’ current transfer capacity from the Lachlan River and bore fields, which is a major win for the community as it will secure better access to safe, clean drinking water.”

Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, said, “The government knows how important water security and availability is for economic growth and building resilient communities.

“This is especially true in our regions as we continue to face increasingly uncertain climate conditions.

“That’s why we’re investing in critical water infrastructure project across the nation so central western communities such as Parkes and Peak Hill can benefit from increased water security and climate resilience both now and into the future.”

Parkes Shire Mayor, Ken Keith, said, “This project will help the region grow and thrive. We want to welcome more tourists and residents into Parkes Shire and this project is a key part of our long-term vision.

“We need to ensure a reliable supply of top-quality water for our residents and local businesses which will underpin our population and economic growth.”

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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