Labor’s Water for Australia plan will future-proof Australia’s water resources by establishing a National Water Commission and broadening the National Water Grid Investment Framework so it can fund a wider range of water supply projects. Labor’s Water for Australia plan will:
Managing water well is crucial for our Australia’s future. There are big challenges ahead, including climate change, population growth, and increasing agricultural demand. Water reform is an ongoing national task. To be done well, it needs serious focus from the federal government, alongside other Australian governments.
After almost a decade in office, the current Liberal Government has:
In its 2020 and 2021 infrastructure priority lists, Infrastructure Australia specifically identified town and city water security as high priority. The Productivity Commission also told the federal government the National Water Grid Fund’s investment policy should be broadened to allow funding for all projects where government involvement may be warranted, including supporting access to essential town water supplies in regional and remote communities. But the Morrison-Joyce Government has ignored this recommendation.
Labor will establish a National Water Commission to drive ongoing water reform and future-proof Australia’s water resources. The National Water Commission will:
Labor will also broaden the National Water Grid investment policy, to allow funding for more projects.
This will make essential town water supplies in regional and remote communities eligible for funding, so that projects like the Cairns Water Security project can be considered, in addition to the continued use of the fund for agriculture projects. In doing so Labor will ensure that critical water projects are able to gain access to government funding where they stack up environmentally and economically.
Labor will invest $34 million over the forward estimates in establishing a National Water Commission.