New pipe complete
The final section of pipeline connecting Broken Hill to the Murray River has been laid.
The NSW Government claims Broken Hill is now drought-proof following the instalment of the final length of the 22,000-piece pipe.
“We have secured the long-term viability of this community,” Regional Water Minister Niall Blair said.
“This community needed decisive action from the Government and that's what they've got.”
The Minister spruiked the creation of 150 local jobs and the use of 28,000 tonnes of Australian steel in the construction process.
He also gave an “iron-clad guarantee” that water prices in Broken Hill stay the same for the next four years.
“We've stumped up the money to build this, and now we're also going to cover the costs for the community in relation to the operation, maintenance and depreciation of the pipeline from 2019 to 2023,” he said.
The $467 million pipeline will move water 270 kilometres from Wentworth to Broken Hill, reducing pressure on the ailing Darling River.
Environmentalists say downstream communities have been deprived of water, and criticised the lack of consultation with Indigenous communities and traditional landowners.
Mr Blair said the State Government had consulted properly, and will work with the Federal Government on engineering solutions to secure surrounding water systems.
“At the moment we've got Deloitte looking at options for the Lower Darling, and we've also got money from Canberra and the business case to address the Menindee lakes. We're doing it all,” he said.