Barnaby pushes for more dams to be built

October 25, 2019

Level one water restrictions have been in place in the Gwydir Shire for weeks now, restricting water use during 10am and 6pm.

Acting Mayor, Cr Catherine Egan, spoke to the Gwydir News explaining how the water restrictions weren’t necessary but that the Shire are imposing restrictions out of respect to neighbouring communities that do not have the same water security and are on limited supplies.

Copeton Dam, in better days.

“We are a more fortunate community at the moment but we felt out of respect to the other communities downstream who don’t have the same security like we do, we should impose restrictions, and I believe other neighbouring Shires who do not have any restrictions in place, should also follow suit.”

“This drought is devastating and widespread; we all should be mindful of our water usage,” added Cr Egan.

The Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce spoke to reporters in Inverell whilst the Hon. Josh Frydenberg and the Hon. David Littleproud were visiting about the push for water infrastructure and to build more dams is the responsibility of State Government.

“It is illegal for a Federal Government to lift a shovel and dig a hole anywhere in this country unless the states allow us,” said the Hon. Josh Frydenberg.

“We have more than $3 billion dollars available; it’s for other irrigation methods, it’s for pipelines and it’s for dams. We don’t want to see state governments dragging their feet, we’re helping to fund them, but we need state governments help to build them,” said Mr Joyce.

A few weeks ago there was an announcement from the Federal and State Government pledging an additional $1 billion for new dam infrastructure.

The General Manager of the Gwydir Shire Council, Max Eastcott spoke how the main conclusion from the Drought Forum held in Bingara was that regional Australia needs leadership in State and Federal agencies that have a long term view and will invest in public infrastructure to limit the impact of drought in future.

“Water security is a big issue to the Naomi joint organisation and we will work very hard to move forward on water security issues.”

“Bingara and Warialda are quite lucky at the moment but if the drought continues for another couple of years, we can’t guarantee the luck will hold,” said Mr Eastcott.