NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro, along with the entire State Cabinet, today travelled 770km from Sydney into outback NSW to hold a Cabinet meeting in Bourke.
Ms Berejiklian said it is the first time in the State’s history a formal cabinet meeting has been held in Bourke.
“I want to thank the Mayor of Bourke Barry Hollman and the entire community for inviting the NSW Cabinet to the outback, and undertaking the huge task of hosting the NSW government in town for the day,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I know that these communities are suffering through this devastating drought.
“The most critical issue in Bourke right now is of course access to water and so, today we are announcing $2 million in immediate funding for the construction of an additional bore and pipeline in Bourke to increase the towns’ long-term water supply.”
Mr Barilaro said Bourke fortunately fell under a rain cloud earlier this month, receiving 100ml, extending the town’s water supply in the immediate future but more urgent measures are still needed to guarantee the town’s long-term water security.
“Bourke was facing the prospect of running out of water in the near future but fortunately Mother Nature intervened and extended their water supply for six months,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The $2 million in emergency water funding for Bourke, announced by the Premier and I today, is one example of the emergency measures we are undertaking across the state to prevent towns and cities from running out of water.
“Recent rain has brought a green tinge to the region and a pulse down the Darling River but this drought is pushing our country resilience to the edge. I want Ministers to roll up their sleeves and get dust on their boots today to see first-hand what we need to do to keep our regional communities going.
“NSW needs towns like Bourke to grow and to continue to carry on the tradition of strong outback communities contributing to our State’s history and prosperity.”
We have committed close to $3 billion to drought relief and water security since 2017, which includes funding for 60 bores across 23 communities and 14 pipelines, such as that from Wentworth to Broken Hill.