Hunter Water (NSW) will invest $1.1 billion into better infrastructure during the next 10 years, to support the increase in the region’s population to one million people by 2050.

Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water, Niall Blair, said for the Hunter region to hit one million people by 2050, Hunter Water needed to be planning now.

“The Hunter region is growing and it is so important we put in place the right water infrastructure to cater for that population growth.

“From Medowie to Maitland and the Upper Hunter water infrastructure will be upgraded – the likes of which has never been seen before,” said Mr Blair.

Hunter Water will spend $40 million on the Grahamstown Water Treatment Plant to cope with future demand, which could be 47 billion litres of water annually over the next 10 years.

In Maitland $48million will be invested in expanding the Farley Wastewater Treatment Works to allow for 8,000 new homes in Rutherford, Lochinvar and Aberglasslyn.

$15million will be spent as part of the Dungog Wastewater Treatment Works expansion.

Hunter Water Managing Director, Kim Wood, said the water utility was committed to keeping its average water bill among the cheapest in Australia, while continuing to invest in new and improved infrastructure.

“Hunter Water will do everything possible to ensure its system is properly maintained, and where needed expanded, as the Hunter’s population grows towards 1 million by 2050.

“Over the next four years I expect Hunter Water’s customers will see no increase in their bill above the rate of inflation, which is just 49 cents per week.

If you remove the impact of inflation, the typical water bill will actually decrease over the next four years, said Ms Wood.

The 10-year infrastructure program is detailed in Hunter Water’s 2016-20 price submission to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, in which the utility has recommended household water prices rise by no more than inflation.

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