• JON WOLFE

Report says new Dungowan Dam offers poor viability to secure Tamworth's water

The Productivity Commission has handed down a report about the new half a billion dollar Dungowan Dam and labelled it as expensive, with poor viability to secure the city’s water security.

The new dam was proclaimed to be the solution to the city’s water woes by the NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey andd eputy Premier John Barilaro during their visit to Tamworth last year, however the Commission has now declared the project has flawed decision making.

The Commission says in its report the scope of the project was narrowly defined and focused only on the long-term water supply rather than ensuring water security in extreme droughts.

It also found the cost benefit ratio was based on optimistic assumptions like the willingness of locals to pay for fewer water restrictions, and that the NSW government ignored no build options like purchasing general security entitlements and concluded the same amount of water in the new dam could be purchased for less than 10 million dollars a year from the region’s entitlement holders.

Tamworth mayor Col Murrays says council’s priority is securing and increasing reliable water supplies for Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal and believes the new Dungowan Dam and pipeline is an essential component in achieving this.

He said council congratulates and supports the government on its funding of the new Dungowan Dan and pipeline and will await the presentation of the business case later this year.

Federal and State Government leaders at the announcment of plans for the new Dungowan Dam, at the current dam. (Image:JW)