MILLIONS of dollars in infrastructure funding will be unlocked after the NSW government signed onto the Murray Darling Basin Plan on Thursday.
NSW premier Barry O’Farrell and deputy NSW Premier Andrew Stoner welcomed the signing of the historic Murray Darling Basin agreements - giving special emphasis to irrigators in the Murrumbidgee Valley.
“This is an historic reform that delivers a positive outcome for NSW, as well as the broader national interest,” Mr O’Farrell said after signing the agreements with the Prime Minister in Canberra on Thursday.
“NSW has always supported funding infrastructure projects for the Basin and I am pleased to sign these agreements with Prime Minister Tony Abbott,” he said.
“This shows what can happen when sensible discussions take place with a Federal Government prepared to listen in a constructive fashion.”
Mr Stoner said the NSW Liberals and Nationals government drove a hard bargain to protect the interests of the state’s farmers and irrigators.
“The offer put forward by the former Labor Government was unacceptable to the NSW Liberals & Nationals and I’m pleased we’ve been able to secure agreement with the Federal Coalition Government so swiftly,” Mr Stoner said.
“The NSW Government has always maintained that in managing and securing water for the Basin infrastructure projects should be prioritised over water buybacks.
“I’m especially pleased at the funding that has been provided to boost water infrastructure in NSW, which includes significant projects at the Menindee Lakes and in the Nimmie Caira area of the lower Murrumbidgee Valley.
“By signing the Basin Agreements, the NSW Government will be securing for Basin communities throughout NSW an additional $80 million funding over the next eight years, which will go towards developing further infrastructure and water management projects, water resource plans, and other activities implementing the plan across the State.
“This funding will not only benefit NSW, but the entire Murray-Darling system."