The Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra announcing, if re-elected, the LNP government would introduce a new statutory authority called the National Water Grid tasked to managed water infrastructure around Australia (with Bradfield Schemes as a first order of business).
We need to better store, better harvest, and better use water— our most valuable asset.
Our country community is some of the most inventive minds, finest engineers, smartest entrepreneurs, willing people prepared to have a go try things.
Let us have a vision. Show some courage of the scale of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and the Snowy Scheme to again show the world what a mighty nation of thinkers and builders we are.
That’s why today I’m proud to announce that the Liberals and Nationals in government will establish a National Water Grid.
The National Water Grid will be a statutory authority responsible for the strategic planning and project management for water infrastructure right across the Nation.
The National Water Grid will bring together the world’s best scientists to take the politics out of the way water is captured and stored in Australia.
No longer will states be able to hide behind political games as to why they will or won’t allocate water to a particular valley or region.
No longer will future federal governments be able to strip funding from vital water infrastructure projects because they believe they don’t stack up purely based on politics.
No longer will our communities’ ability to unlock their own potential merely exist in and around election cycles.
It’s been too long since we built a dam. You all know that. We can’t even raise a dam wall. Enough is enough.
This is not about pitting states against states, catchments against catchments, communities against communities.
This is about the Commonwealth providing real leadership and real vision.
Right across the country, we are building the water infrastructure our communities expect and deserve and the National Water Grid will be responsible for developing the water grid and to identify the missing links.
I can also announce one of the National Water Grids first orders of business will be able to use the best available science to examine how large scale water diversion projects could be established to deliver reliable and cost-effective water to farmers and regional communities.
A re-elected Liberal and Nationals government will also seek agreement for States and Territories to co-invest to make this a truly a national initiative based on science, not politics.
And we are going to put a down payment of 100 million dollars for projects supporting states to better understand their own water resources and kick start investigation to water diversion projects.