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Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, recently met with the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, and Central Tablelands Water (CTW) staff at the Parliament of Australia, to progress proposed water security projects for the Central West region.

The meeting was attended by Mr Gee, Mr McCormack, and CTW stakeholders: Chair - Cr David Somervaille, General Manager – Gavin Rhodes, and Cr Kevin Walker - Deputy Chairman of CTW and Councillor at Cabonne Council.

Projects discussed included:

  • raising the Lake Rowlands Dam wall to increase the capacity by four gigalitres;
  • construction of a pipeline between Carcoar Dam and Lake Rowlands; and
  • a new dam wall at Lake Rowlands approximately 2.5 kilometres downstream.

Mr Gee said consideration was given to the benefits of each project with respect to both agricultural and urban water usage, and the need to receive the support from all three levels of government before federal funding could be considered.

“As water is typically the responsibility of the NSW Government, water security projects need to have an agricultural element in order for the Federal Government to get involved,” he noted.

Chair of CTW - Cr David Somervaille, said they had been in talks with NSW Minister for Water, Melinda Pavey, who had expressed interest in regional water strategies.

“We want to increase the total water storage to enable the Carcoar and Lake Rowlands Dams to capture three to four times the volume of water which goes over the spillway during the typical drought-breaking rain events,” Mr Somervaille said.

Mr Gee acknowledged the proposed projects had been well researched during the scoping and feasibility stages.

“The proposed enhancements to the Carcoar and Lake Rowlands catchments have had the ground work done and are ready to progress by coordinating local, state and federal governments. Lake Rowlands is a great catchment, which spills often,” Mr Gee noted.

“The next step is for the NSW Government to submit a funding proposal to the Federal Government through the national agency, The National Water Grid. I know Central Tablelands Water will be talking to the NSW Government about it.”

Mr Gee continues to make water security a top priority for the Calare electorate.

“I will continue to do whatever it takes to achieve an adequate and sustainable water supply for our communities.

“There is a real appetite for water projects at the moment and I’m very keen to make sure our region is front and centre when these discussions are taking place,” he said.