The NSW Government has passed the Water Supply (Critical Needs) Bill 2019 that will fast track critical water infrastructure projects including dams and pipelines in Orange, Dubbo and Tamworth by up to six to nine months. 

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the temporary legislation will provide streamlined approvals for water infrastructure projects where there is critical town water supply need for the next two years. 

“This is the breakthrough our regional towns and cities have been waiting for,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Improving water storage is critical to the longevity and growth of regional NSW and this temporary legislation allows us to get on with the job of building dams,” he said.   

Three key developments to be fast tracked for authorisation are the Burrendong Dam deep water storage project, the Chaffey Dam to Dungowan pipeline and the Macquarie River to Orange pipeline.

The Burrendong Dam project will secure additional water for Dubbo, Wellington, Warren, Nyngan and Cobar, by providing access to an additional 21 gigalitres of water that is currently inaccessible.

The Chaffey Dam to Dungowan pipeline will help secure Tamworth’s water supply by reducing evaporation and transfer losses during delivery.

Orange City Council can now seek authorisation to amend operating conditions for the existing Macquarie River to Orange pipeline, which will allow for pumping outside of high flow events.

This is critical for the Orange community, which is on level 5 restrictions and has less than 12 months water supply remaining.

The Bill allows for the Wyangala Dam upgrade, the new Dungowan Dam, a proposed new dam on the Mole River and the Western Weirs Program to be assessed as Critical State Significant Developments under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

Minister Pavey said the Dungowan Dam will be the first major water storage project in NSW in 30 years.

“With 98 per cent of NSW in drought and a hot and dry summer predicted, urgent action is needed to accelerate the environmental planning assessment and approval times for critical developments that will help secure water supply to those towns in need,” she said. 

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

Since 2017, the NSW Government has invested $1.8 billion as part of its Drought Package to date.

The NSW Government has passed the Water Supply (Critical Needs) Bill 2019 that will fast track critical water infrastructure projects including dams and pipelines in Orange, Dubbo and Tamworth by up to six to nine months. 

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the temporary legislation will provide streamlined approvals for water infrastructure projects where there is critical town water supply need for the next two years. 

“This is the breakthrough our regional towns and cities have been waiting for,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Improving water storage is critical to the longevity and growth of regional NSW and this temporary legislation allows us to get on with the job of building dams,” he said.   

Three key developments to be fast tracked for authorisation are the Burrendong Dam deep water storage project, the Chaffey Dam to Dungowan pipeline and the Macquarie River to Orange pipeline.

The Burrendong Dam project will secure additional water for Dubbo, Wellington, Warren, Nyngan and Cobar, by providing access to an additional 21 gigalitres of water that is currently inaccessible.

The Chaffey Dam to Dungowan pipeline will help secure Tamworth’s water supply by reducing evaporation and transfer losses during delivery.

Orange City Council can now seek authorisation to amend operating conditions for the existing Macquarie River to Orange pipeline, which will allow for pumping outside of high flow events.

This is critical for the Orange community, which is on level 5 restrictions and has less than 12 months water supply remaining.

The Bill allows for the Wyangala Dam upgrade, the new Dungowan Dam, a proposed new dam on the Mole River and the Western Weirs Program to be assessed as Critical State Significant Developments under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

Minister Pavey said the Dungowan Dam will be the first major water storage project in NSW in 30 years.

“With 98 per cent of NSW in drought and a hot and dry summer predicted, urgent action is needed to accelerate the environmental planning assessment and approval times for critical developments that will help secure water supply to those towns in need,” she said. 

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

Since 2017, the NSW Government has invested $1.8 billion as part of its Drought Package to date.