Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke has written to Water Minister Rose Jackson, putting the NSW State Government on notice when it comes to cutting funding for vital water infrastructure in the forthcoming state budget.
Set up by the previous Liberal/Nationals Government, Ms Cooke said it is imperative the NSW Labor Government honours previous funding allocations made under the Safe and Secure Water Program, while also committing to further investments going forward.
“I am increasingly concerned about the lack of commitment shown by the Government to this vitally important and hugely successful investment program,” Ms Cooke said.
“The Safe and Secure Water Program is fundamental to delivering quality water services and supply to communities in regional NSW, and I have written to the Water Minister to caution against diverting funding into areas other than water infrastructure,” she said.
In the letter, Ms Cooke highlighted examples within the Cootamundra electorate, of towns and villages in need of funding under the Safe and Secure Water Program.
“Residents in the township of Boorowa are in desperate need of a permanent solution to their water quality and supply issues, while in Bribbaree, residents are reliant on bore water, which landholders are responsible for pumping,” Ms Cooke said.
“Similarly, those living in Narrandera can’t always rely on the quality of their water supply, with some describing it as ‘undrinkable’.
“As drought conditions loom, now is not the time to remove funding opportunities that have previously bolstered our water outcomes.
“We simply cannot afford to see the Safe and Secure Water Program taken away; the impacts of such narrow-minded decision making will be nothing short of catastrophic for the families and businesses that call regional NSW home,” she said.