Northern Water Project
SACOME calls for the provisioning of early works funding from the South Australian Government for the Northern Water Project, contingent on a favourable business case.
The Northern Water Supply Project aims to resolve a long-standing roadblock to South Australia’s economic development through the construction of a new desalination plant and a high-capacity pipeline to provide secure, sustainable, and efficient water supply to the Gawler Craton and the far North of the State.
Providing a secure and efficient water supply is key to unlocking economic potential in the Far North of the State and will reduce reliance on the Great Artesian Basin and the Murray River.
The project will support emerging industries such as green steel and hydrogen production in the Iron Triangle and the water requirements for the State’s space and defence sectors at the Woomera Prohibited Area. It will also meet the domestic and industrial water needs of communities in the Upper Spencer Gulf, reducing reliance on the Great Artesian Basin and the Murray River. The project aligns with the State’s Copper Strategy and will assist in diversifying economic opportunities in the Far North and facilitate prospects for upstream processing.
Since 2021, the project has been listed on Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List. It is anticipated to create 8,000 construction jobs and 6,000 ongoing jobs once operational[i].
SACOME welcomed bipartisan support for $10 million of State funding and $5 million of Commonwealth funding in 2022-23, along with the signing of a MoU between the State Government, BHP and OZ Minerals to progress scoping work for this truly transformative project.
With the business case for the Northern Water Supply Project due for completion in early 2023, SACOME advocates for requisite funding of $200 million for early works, including geotechnical and environmental investigations, to ensure momentum for this critically important project is maintained.