Ahead of the May federal election, the LNP has promised to establish a water policy and infrastructure authority called the National Water Grid.
The statutory authority would deliver strategic planning and water management for water policy and water infrastructure across Australia.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said, “We know the key to unlocking the potential of regional Australia is simple – just add water.”
Mr McCormack said the National Water Grid’s first order of business would be to look at how large scale water diversion projects could be established to deliver reliable and cost effective water to farmers and regional communities.
The National Water Grid would:
- Bring together the world’s best scientists to harvest and harness water in the best way possible. This will ensure that decisions regarding water and water infrastructure by future state and federal governments are based on best available science, not on political agendas.
- Develop a Water Grid that will provide the pipeline of all established, current and future water infrastructure projects and then identify the missing links.
- Use the best available science to examine how large scale water diversion projects could be established to deliver reliable and cost effective water to farmers and regional communities.
A re-elected Liberal and Nationals Government will also:
- Seek agreement from states and territories to co-invest in the project through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
- Invest an initial $100 million to better understand Australia’s 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.”