Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

The Hon. Phil Costa

NSW Minister for Water
NSW Minister for Corrective Services

Orange City Pipeline project gets go-ahead

Joint media release
2 March 2011

The Gillard Government and NSW Keneally Government today signed off on a plan to deliver the Orange Pipeline project connecting the Macquarie River to Orange.

Federal Water Minister Tony Burke and NSW Water Minister Phil Costa today gave the green light to the pipeline which will provide Orange with a secure water supply for the future by connecting the city's existing water infrastructure to more reliable drinking water from the Macquarie River.

"We know that a reliable water supply is crucial to the future of growing regional centres like Orange," Minister Burke said.

"Together with the NSW Government, the Gillard Government is committed to water reform and making major investments in new projects to provide cities and towns like Orange with a more secure water supply.

"The pipeline, expected to be completed by December 2012, will allow Orange City Council to transfer up to 12 megalitres of water a day from the Macquarie River to Suma Park Dam.

"Ensuring that the city of Orange has a secure and reliable water supply means that recent population growth and prosperity in the region can continue with the right infrastructure in place.

"The Gillard Labor Government recognises cities and towns in the Murray Darling Basin are under pressure to secure water supplies as we face a future with a more varied water supply.

"That's why we are committed to investing in projects like the Orange pipeline.

"Funding for this project will be allocated from existing funds available under the Water for the Future program."

Orange is a major regional centre in New South Wales, providing service to its 40,000 residents and a further 60,000 people in the surrounding region.

Phil Costa, NSW Minister for Water, said that the NSW Keneally Government was contributing $18.2 million to the project.

"The pipeline will provide Orange with a new reliable supply of water, reducing demand on the existing water supply.

"As well as creating new jobs in New South Wales, construction of the pipeline will also provide security to local businesses.

"Water security is also important for critical human services - such as hospitals - that Orange provides for many other communities across central and western NSW.

Funding for the Orange Pipeline includes a $20 million investment from the Gilllard Government, an $18 million commitment from the NSW Keneally Government, and $9 million from the Orange City Council.

To find out more about how Water for the Future is securing water supplies for Australian cities and towns visit