The Federal Government last week announced that expressions of interest are open for the Fund, under which states and territories can undertake feasibility studies to support water infrastructure projects across the country, including dams.
Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said in a statement that, under the feasibility component of the fund, state and territory governments can apply for funding to undertake the critical early planning work. This includes technical, environmental and economic assets on specific infrastructure projects.
“The fund will support new and augmented water infrastructure, including dams, pipelines and managed aquifer recharge projects around Australia, to secure the nation’s water supplies and to deliver strong economic benefits while also protecting our environment,” he said.
“The fund delivers on the Coalition Government’s commitment of $500 million under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to develop the nation’s water infrastructure—comprising $50 million to start the detailed planning necessary to build new water infrastructure, and $450 million for capital works.
“The capital works component of the fund will make $450 million available from 2017-18 for co-investments in construction of priority water infrastructure projects, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with states and territories.
“While a range of projects were identified in the White Paper, the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund will be open to other potential projects as priorities change over time. New suggestions and priorities are constantly being provided as the Australian Government consults with state and territory governments and other potential investor.”
Expressions of interest close on 21 January 2016. Details of the expression of interest process, guidelines and information about the fund are available at agriculture.gov.au/water-infrastructure.