New National Authority to manage Australian water infrastructure

The Western Australian Government has announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer for state-owned utility Water Corporation.The Federal Government have established a new authority, the National Water Grid to deliver strategic planning and project management for water infrastructure.

The National Water Grid will aim to ensure Australia’s regions are well placed to grow and thrive, protected from future drought, for the coming decades.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said water security is a top priority for the Federal Government.

“Water is the lifeblood of our nation and we owe it to our regional producers and communities to deliver long-term, sustainable water infrastructure to help farmers recover and build resilience from drought,” Mr. McCormack said.

The National Water Grid was announced during the 2019 election and will be in place by the end of the year.

Mr. McCormack said it will bring together the world’s best scientists, water experts and local stakeholder engagement to work on water infrastructure.

“This will ensure that science, not politics, drives future decision making on water policy and infrastructure,” he said.

The National Water Grid’s first task will be to look at how large-scale water diversion projects could be established, which could enable reliable and cost effective water delivery to farmers and regional communities.

“It’s time to take petty politics out of water. Establishing an independent statutory authority will ensure the future of Australia’s water supply will be based on data, not on self-interest,” Mr. McCormack said.

He said the Federal Government will work with industry, local and state governments and communities to ensure support is targeted.

“Our record infrastructure investment will help stimulate our regional economies and develop our communities. From the National Water Grid to the National Soil Advocate, the Future Drought Fund and Inland Rail, we are investing in regional Australia because we believe in regional Australia.”

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