Drought relief: NSW Government confirms funding guidelines for $1 Billion Safe & Secure Water Program

Media release | 19 December 2018

The NSW Government has today released the funding guidelines for its flagship $1 billion Safe & Secure Water Program (SSWP), confirming that during the transition applicants may submit eligible detailed applications under the former guidelines until 1 April 2019.

The revised Safe & Secure Water Program will allow for more flexible funding ensuring communities of all sizes can apply for funding for critical water infrastructure projects.

Michael Blackmore, Director Water Utilities for the NSW Department of Industry said the Safe & Secure Water Program is testament to the NSW Government’s commitment to improving economic growth and productivity in NSW through the delivery of a safe and secure water supply to regional communities.

“Across regional NSW, 1.9 million people depend on safe, secure, affordable and sustainable water and sewerage services.

“We recognise that regional communities are doing it tough with drought ever-present. We have updated the Safe & Secure Water Program to ensure we can fund the highest priority issues, regardless of the size of the community that’s impacted.

“To date we have committed approximately $500 million to Safe & Secure projects across NSW, and will provide a further $500 million in funding over the next few years.

“Water is the very lifeblood of regional NSW and this program affords regional communities the opportunity to work with the government to solve real and pressing issues.

“The program criteria have been reconfigured to ensure all communities have equitable opportunity to apply for funding for critical water infrastructure projects. The revised criteria mean that high priority issues can be addressed first.”

“As the program transitions, parties intend to submit detailed applications to the Safe and Secure Water Program and these applications require Council resources. For this reason the transition period has been extended to allow parties to submit detailed applications under the SSWP Restart NSW Guidelines up to 1 April 2019.”

Under the new Safe & Secure Water Program, three streams of funding are available:

  • Funding stream 1: Development and delivery of water quality, water security and environmental solutions. This is the main stream of funding under the program
  • Funding stream 2: Integrated water cycle management (IWCM) strategies
  • Funding stream 3: High-risk dams

A program management office will be established in Dubbo enabling the Government to work closely with local councils and water utilities to discuss and agree to a list of priority issues.

Further information on approved Safe & Secure Water Program projects can be viewed on the NSW Department of Industry website.