Nats back new dams
Nationals leader Michael McCormack wants more dams and weirs in regional Australia.
Some NSW and Queensland towns are close to running out of water, putting councils and state governments in a rush to find emergency measures.
Meanwhile, their federal counterparts are looking at large-scale projects to try to reduce the devastating effects of the next big dry.
The deputy prime minister, also the infrastructure minister, says projects like the Rookwood Weir and Emu Swamp Dam in Queensland, or the raising of NSW's Wyangala Dam, will benefit the nation.
“They're all projects which are not just there for irrigation, they're also there for water supply,” Mr McCormack told reporters on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.
During the election campaign, the Nationals promised a new $100 million national water grid.
While the full details of the new body are lacking, Mr McCormack said it would go around uncooperative state governments and remove the “petty politics” of water infrastructure.
“Wherever I go, when I mention dams whether it's a metropolitan area they cheer, whether it's a regional area they do the same,” he said.
“Where we can't reach common ground, the national water grid will certainly make sure we build those dams.”
The grid should take the form of a statutory authority populated by government scientists to guide large-scale water diversion projects.