Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, announced that if re-elected, the Liberal and Nationals Government intend to establish the National Water Grid — a statutory authority to deliver strategic planning and project management for water policy and water infrastructure right across the nation.
The National Water Grid would bring together leading scientists to determine the most efficient ways to harvest and harness water, in the hope of ensuring that decisions regarding water and water infrastructure by future state and federal governments are based on the best available science.
The creation of a National Water Grid would provide a pipeline of all established, current and future water infrastructure projects, allowing for the identification of missing links and examination of how large-scale water diversion projects could be established to deliver reliable and cost-effective water to farmers and regional communities.
The Liberal and Nationals Government would also seek agreement from states and territories to co-invest in the project through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to ensure it becomes a national initiative.
An initial investment of $100 million would be made to better understand Australia’s own water resources, and kick-start investigation and delivery of water diversion projects.
“The Liberal and Nationals Government is investing more than $3 billion to work with state and territory governments to fast track water infrastructure projects that will deliver greater water security for rural communities, grow jobs, and underpin new and expanded agriculture and support regional economic growth,” Mr McCormack said.
“Right across our nation, our regional communities experience droughts and flooding rains and we need states to work more closely, hand in hand, with the Federal Government to better capture and store water, as well as protecting our communities from devastating flood.”