The funding will support many critical town water projects, as well as other shovel-ready infrastructure projects. Shovel-ready projects that could be funded include regional airport upgrades, activation of industrial lands and CBD revitalisation projects.
The $170 million Drought Infrastructure Package will include:
- up to $120 million to fast track identified major infrastructure projects
- $30 million on new groundwater supply for Dubbo
- $8.2 million construction of second water storage at Nyngan
- $2.2 million to augment bore water supply at Coonabarabran
- $2 million for Albert Priest Channel critical maintenance
- $1.97 million towards the Coolamon Industrial Estate development.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the impact of this drought is now being felt by businesses and households in towns and cities across regional NSW.
“When farmers can’t contract tradies and other workers, there is a flow-on effect felt throughout local businesses such as cafes and local stores. This funding package will support these rural communities in their time of need,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said there is a need to fast track investment in local infrastructure to keep businesses open and jobs in town.
“Every dollar spent by farmers at their local store helps keep someone employed in that business and a family in town,” Mr Barilaro said.
Funding from the 2019-20 NSW Budget will also extend emergency drought support for farmers.
An additional $185 million will go towards on-farm drought support, including:
- transport subsidies
- waiver of Local Land Services rates
- waiver of fixed charges for NSW Water Licences
- emergency water carting
- waiver of interest charges for Farm Innovation Fund loans.