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Metering program to receive $25 million

The Australian Government has committed $25 million to the Northern Murray-Darling Basin Metering Program to bolster water compliance and give communities access to faster and more accurate water data.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the funding would be split between New South Wales and Queensland, with each state receiving $12.5 million to improve metering and expand access to water information.

“[The] government is investing in new technologies and new approaches to ensure that communities have confidence in the integrity of local water users — the Australian public demands nothing less,” Pitt said.

“This investment will significantly improve the information available to local communities, to water users and to compliance officers across the northern basin.

“That means improved transparency for water users, better water management outcomes and stronger confidence for communities at the local level.”

Pitt said the package will support NSW’s new metering framework, and provide NSW and Queensland water users with access to more accurate information to help them make business decisions.

NSW Minister for Water Melinda Pavey said the program will build industry capability and provide better access to accurate water information via expanded metering.

“NSW can use the funding to help subsidise the costs of installing telemetry, undertake a metering demonstration project in the Barwon-Darling region, and support First Nations Australians in regional areas to undertake paid metering traineeships,” she said.

Queensland Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said the $12.5 million will improve the capacity to measure and monitor water use in the Murray-Darling Basin over the next three years.

“This investment in the Rural Water Futures program will give water users in the Murray-Darling Basin more information about water availability and how to best manage water resources,” he said.

“The funding will go towards projects testing the accuracy and efficiency of water meters and alternate monitoring approaches such as remote sensing and telemetry systems.”