Budget focuses on water infrastructure
As part of the 2014/15 budget, the NSW Government have invested $700 million over the next financial year to maintain, renew and upgrade critical infrastructure across State water networks.
Major projects funded by this investment include:
- $268 million for wastewater treatment plant and wastewater pipeline upgrades;
- $171 million for works to service growth in urban development; and,
- $71 million to maintain water distribution systems.
The investment will pay for upgrades to a network, which includes 45,000 kilometres of water and wastewater pipes, over 800 pumping stations, 252 reservoirs, and 38 treatment and recycling plants across Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.
The NSW Government has also confirmed the introduction of the Water Industry Competition Amendment (review) Bill 2014 into Parliament. The bill creates a framework for the State’s water sector to work more efficiently, with safeguards to protect NSW water users.
The bill will amend the Water Industry Competition Act 2006; ensuring councils are forced to adhere to strict public health and water pricing regulations.
Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water Kevin Humphries said the new changes would also create a level playing field between public and private water providers.
“Through this Bill the NSW Government is encouraging competition, driving innovation and boosting efficiency of service delivery,” Mr Humphries said.
Image courtesy of NSW Public Works