A National Water Grid Advisory Body has been established by the Federal Government to assist the growth of Australia’s agriculture sector, increase water security, and build drought and flood resilience.

The eight-member advisory body, including Chair Chris Lynch, has a diverse range of expertise in fields including engineering, agriculture, economics, environmental and water sciences, infrastructure investment and stakeholder engagement.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Advisory Body would provide independent advice to the Federal Government on water infrastructure, using the world’s best science to support the work of the National Water Grid Authority.  

“The advisory body has been established at a very important time for the nation, with drought still affecting regional Australia and communities still recovering from the effects of bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr McCormack said.  

“The body’s advice will help inform the government’s policy and investment decisions, assisting the delivery of the National Water Grid.

“Having held their first meeting in August, members are already undertaking important work, including with the CSIRO to review the viability of and possibilities around the Bradfield Scheme.”

The advisory body’s early priorities will include reviewing options around large-scale water harvesting and diversion schemes right across Australia. 

The members of the National Water Grid Advisory Body are:

  •   Chris Lynch (Chair), leading Global Senior Executive (Victoria)
  •   Cathy Foley, Chief Scientist CSIRO (NSW)
  •   Jim Grayson, former Chief Executive Officer of Gladstone Area Water Board (Queensland)
  •   Roseanne Healy, corporate advisory expert and strategist (South Australia)
  •   Dr Stuart Khan, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales (NSW)
  •   Sue Middleton, farmer and businesswoman (WA)
  •   Peter Ryan, former Deputy Premier of Victoria (Victoria)
  •   Elizabeth Stott, farmer, irrigator and former water public relations and engagement professional (NSW)

More than $1.5 billion has already been committed by the Federal Government to identify and build the dams, weirs and pipelines that will deliver the National Water Grid, helping regional and rural Australia access secure and affordable water.  

The Federal Government has already committed to more than 20 water projects across Australia and funded more than 50 feasibility studies to investigate regional water infrastructure solutions.

This investment is expected to help grow Australian agriculture to a $100 billion industry by 2030, while increasing population and economic prosperity through increased water security.

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