The Federal Government is doubling its commitment to the Wyangala and Dungowan Dam projects, providing an additional $283.5 million. 

As part of the Federal Government’s economic plan for a more secure and resilient Australia, its cash commitment will increase to $242 million for Dungowan Dam, 60km from Tamworth and $325 million for Wyangala Dam, 40km from Cowra.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said this new cash investment for the two projects, as part of the 2020-21 Budget, showed how serious the Australian Government was about getting the dams built.

“These dams will increase inland water storage by the equivalent of 1.2 Sydney Harbours and we want to see benefits flowing to local communities as soon as possible,” Mr McCormack said. 

“We want to deliver critical water infrastructure projects for rural and regional communities because increased water security supports growth in Australian agriculture, creating new jobs and supporting existing ones as we build greater resilience to drought and floods.

“We know the economic road out of this pandemic relies on funding major infrastructure to support local communities and create jobs and these dam projects will do exactly that.

“Negotiations on the funding agreement for the Dungowan and Wyangala projects are close to being finalised and main construction works will begin after the environmental approvals are in place.”

The Wyangala Dam works will include:

  • Raising the embankment and downstream rockstream rockfill to add an additional 650GL of storage
  • Raising the spillway and intake towers of the dam by 10m

 These modifications are expected to increase storage capacity by 53 per cent by creating capacity for an additional 650GL (to 1,218 GL).

The project has also been designed to have a significant improvement in drought resilience, water security, flood attenuation and water reliability for the Lachlan Valley, as well as maximising local opportunities from the construction of the project.

The works are expected to increase capability to manage high flow/flood events, and improve water security for agriculture, for example vegetable and some cereal crops. 

The Dungowan Dam works will include the construction of a new 22.5GL Dungowan Dam on the Dungowan River, approximately 3.5km downstream of the existing Dungowan Dam. 

These upgrades will increase storage capacity from 6.3GL to 22.5GL, and ensure 5.65GL average annual use for agriculture – beef, sheep, grain, dairy and poultry.

The dam will act as a secure long-term water supply security for Tamworth, and increase town water supply by around 7GL per annum.

In October 2019, the Australian and New South Wales Governments committed to co-fund the construction of these projects, along with $12 million each towards the development of a detailed $24 million business case for the proposed Mole River Dam.

This new capital grant funding replaces previous loan arrangements agreed with the New South Wales Government.

The National Water Infrastructure Development Fund is the Australian Government’s investment in building the next generation of water infrastructure, which is expected to secure reliable supplies of water now and into the future.

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