Australia to invest $933 million to revamp water infrastructure in NSW, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Australia to invest $933 million to revamp water infrastructure in NSW

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MELBOURNE: Australia will invest A$1 billion (S$933 million) to revamp water infrastructure in rural and regional communities in the drought-stricken New South Wales (NSW).

The federal and the NSW governments will spend A$650 million to upgrade the Wyangala Dam in the state's central west and A$480 million to build a new Dungowan Dam near Tamworth, the government said in a statement yesterday.

"Our response to the ongoing drought impacting rural and regional communities is comprehensive and committed," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in the statement.

"It deals with immediate needs for financial assistance and longer-term investments to build drought resilience for the future."

NSW has grappled with drought since mid-2017. Nearly the whole state remains in some drought category.

The Nature Conservation Council, an environmental advocacy group, has criticised the government's slow actions and the dam plans, saying they do not provide water security as they deprive people downstream of water.

"Building new dams is like paying off your house loan with a credit card, we are just getting deeper and deeper into water debt," the group said.

"It is not addressing the fundamental issue and that is that we extract too much water from our rivers." - REUTERS