Macquarie River Re-regulating storage

Macquarie River Re-regulating storage

About the project

WaterNSW has been engaged by the NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE) to develop a Final Business Case (FBC) for a proposed re-regulating storage including fishway structure on the Macquarie River. This structure will contribute towards improving water access reliability and resilience for the region and follows recommendations by Infrastructure NSW in the 2014 State Infrastructure Strategy (PDF) and WaterNSW’s 20 Year Infrastructure Options Study.

Earlier studies and consultation focused on location options for the re-regulating storage between Warren and Narromine, with specific sites being investigated near Gin Gin Weir and Rocky Point. Following the options investigation and consultation, the preferred site has been identified and is proposed to be located 200 metres downstream of the existing Gin Gin Weir. The site was selected following detailed assessment against the strategic priorities of the draft Macquarie-Castlereagh regional water strategy, as well as environmental, social and economic impacts.

The future of the existing Gin Gin Weir will also form part of the project with studies to consider fully or partially decommissioning the weir.

Outcomes of the community and stakeholder consultation, environmental and engineering studies will be included in the Final Business Case planned to be submitted to the NSW Government in October 2020 and will be assessed by Infrastructure NSW under the Infrastructure Investor Assurance Framework gateway 2 process.

Before the structure could be constructed, the project needs to secure all the necessary planning approvals and deliver an  Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for community comment. Further assessments will be undertaken to inform the EIS involving technical, hydrological, environmental, biodiversity, cultural and economic feasibility studies, and further community and stakeholder consultation. The EIS will be prepared in accordance with the Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs), which have been prepared in consultation with relevant public authorities. Public exhibition of the EIS will be made available in accordance with statutory guidelines.

An Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conversation (EPBC) referral was submitted in April 2020. The Australian Government Minister for the Environment has decided the proposal requires further assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act). The project will be assessed in Schedule 1 to the Bilateral Agreement made under section 45 of the EPBC Act and in accordance with the requirements of Item 3 of Schedule 1 of the Bilateral Agreement. These additional SEARs provide information on assessment requirements in relation to matters of national environmental significance.

WaterNSW has engaged GHD, an environmental and engineering consultancy, as a delivery partner for the project.

The project will be developed to align with the Macquarie-Castlereagh Regional Water Strategy which is currently under development. The strategy will identify policy, planning and infrastructure options that deliver resilient water resources for all water users in the Macquarie Valley. For more information on the Regional Water Strategy, please visit the DPIE Water webpage  and for details on the consultation timeline.

This project and the Macquarie-Castlereagh Regional Water Strategy are both supported through funding from the Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.

About the project

Recreational User Survey

With the location of the proposed project, we are interested in understanding how the local community feels about the recreational area near the existing Gin Gin Weir and suggestions on the future use of the area. An online survey is now available to capture your comments.

Feedback from the survey  will assist with developing the final business case and environmental impact statement. We will continue engaging with stakeholders and providing opportunities for feedback as we progress.

Benefits

  • Achieving improved long-term water security strategic objectives in the Macquarie Valley
  • Improved delivery efficiency to customers downstream of Gin Gin
  • Reduced transmission losses when transferring and delivering water through the river system on an annual basis; and
  • Maximise available water for general security customers within the sustainable diversion limits set under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Project Schedule

  • March 2019 – Project planning and investigations commenced
  • July 2019 – Consultation with stakeholders and potentially affected landholders commenced and will be ongoing
  • September 2019 – Field studies and detailed investigations commenced
  • December 2019 - Concept design completed
  • January 2020 - Submitted Scoping Report to Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
  • April 2020 - Submitted EPBC referral to Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
  • October 2020 – Final Business Case due
  • Early 2021 - Project investment and Final Business Case decision due
  • Mid 2021 - Environment Impact Statement (EIS) on public exhibition

Project Information

Contact details

For more information about the project or to enquire about any of the project activities email us at mrrrs@waternsw.com.au or call 1300 662 077

If you have a Facebook account you can also join the MRRRS Project Facebook group.

Project Manager: Andrew Lavelle

NSW Government

This project is supported by the Department of Planning Industry and Environment.

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85.1
Wednesday 05 August
1.6
2,198,120 ML
2,581,850 ML
9,341 ML
1,335 ML
40,803 ML
Wednesday 05 August