HEALTH OF GREAT ARTESIAN BASIN SECURED GOOD NEWS FOR FARMERS

Thursday, 14 March 2019

MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall today welcomed the State Government’s $13 million investment to continue the popular Great Artesian Basin Infrastructure Investment program.

“There are over 1,400 free flowing bores tapping the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) across NSW which need to be rehabilitated in order to restore pressure,” Mr Marshall said.

“The continuation of this program is great news for the future of the GAB and industry relying on groundwater during the drought.

“Restoring pressure to the GAB is vital to ensuring we have a healthy environment and our farmers have secure access to water.”

Formally known as the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative, the program will cap free flowing bores and install efficient water supply infrastructure such as pipes, tanks and troughs in partnership with water users for an additional four years.

“I am pleased that locals will have the opportunity to partner with the government to be part of the solution for drought security and environmental stewardship,” Mr Marshall said.

“Over the next four years rehabilitating groundwater pressure will increase drought resilience as well as feed natural springs which support eco-systems.”

Minister for Regional Water Niall Blair said the NSW Liberals & Nationals had committed more funding to regional water infrastructure in eight years than Labor managed to in 16 years, with $1.4 billion in new funding committed from the NSW Government since 2015.

“Over the next four years rehabilitating groundwater pressure will increase drought resilience,” Mr Blair said.

As surface water availability declines, town water supply and industry will increasingly rely upon groundwater resources.

“This program is bringing together landholders and all levels of government to work together to get outcomes for the environment and deliver for drought stressed communities.”

The Great Artesian Basin is one of the largest underground freshwater resources in the world. It lies below 25 per cent of NSW supporting a population of over 200,000.

To date, the Great Artesian Basin Infrastructure Investment Program has helped NSW to:
• save 78,500 ML of water every year;
• supply approximately 4.2 million ha with reliable, efficient and strategically located watering points;
• control 398 free flowing bores;
• remove over 10,000 km of bore drains;
• install 18,000 km of piping;
• reduce salt discharge to the landscape by 62,800 tonnes every year; and
• reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 41,600 tonnes every year.

This new funding boost is in addition to the NSW Liberals & Nationals commitment to invest $1.4 billion on water security projects from the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.

MEDIA: Adam Marshall 0429 440 054

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