The existing dam at Tenterfield. Legislation has been introduced to ensure drought-stricken communities will not run out of drinking water.
The existing dam at Tenterfield. Legislation has been introduced to ensure drought-stricken communities will not run out of drinking water. GeoSciences Australia

$24M promise to help drought-proof Tenterfield

TENTERFIELD Shire residents are set to benefit from "historic” legislation fast-tracking critical water infrastructure.

The NSW Government today introduced the legislation to ensure drought-stricken communities will not run out of drinking water.

The temporary legislation will streamline approvals for water infrastructure projects where there is a critical town water supply need.

Tenterfield Shire mayor Peter Petty said that meant an initial $24 million will be invested for a minimum 100 gigalitre dam proposed as the Border Rivers Project on the Mole River in the western area of the shire.

Other areas to benefit will be a $650million upgrade to the Wyangala Dam in the state's Central West and a new $480million Dungowan Dam near Tamworth with these projects fitting into the National Water Grid Authority aimed at improving regional water security throughout the state.

The Morrison and Berejiklian governments will split the funding 50/50 to kick-start these priority, large-scale water infrastructure projects which will free up State Government funding to allow progress of critical town water supplies across NSW.

"Both levels of government are committed to these major projects with a priority to get them off the ground as quickly as possible”, Mayor Peter Petty said.

"The realisation of this project will ensure the water sustainability of our town and large areas of our agricultural land when we are faced with drought in the future.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the legislation is a big step towards drought-proofing the state.

"This legislation is a game changer for our drought-affected communities. Not only does it make sure towns will not run out of water while waiting for approvals, it also ensures three large scale dams are fast tracked to increase water storage in regional NSW,” Mr Barilaro said.

This new legislation will be in effect for two years and can be extended by up to 12 months by the Minister for Water, where towns continue to experience severe drought.



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