Future Made in South Australia is key to a Future Made in Australia

Dept of Climate Change, Energy, Environment & Water

The Hon Jim Chalmers MP, Treasurer

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water

The Albanese Government is providing $65 million to investigate and progress planning for Northern Water – delivering desalinated water to support renewable industries and development of critical mineral resources in South Australia, as part of a big investment in a Future Made in Australia in the Budget.

A Future Made in Australia is all about unlocking and incentivising investment in the jobs and opportunities of the future.

The people of South Australia will be big beneficiaries of the Budget and this announcement shows they will be big beneficiaries of a Future Made in Australia as well.

Early analysis shows that this project has potential to unlock $5 billion in investment and lift South Australia’s gross domestic product by $150 billion over its lifetime to 2053, creating 4,200 jobs in resources, renewables and the net zero transformation on average each year.

The Northern Water Supply project could see the construction of a new 260 megalitre per day seawater desalination plant at Cape Hardy and approximately 600 km of pipeline to the Far North of South Australia.

To better understand the feasibility of this transformational proposal, the Albanese Government is investing $65 million to partner with the South Australian Government and industry to jointly fund a $230 million package of work on the Northern Water Supply project.

Funding will support further technical pre-construction activities that are essential to inform the final business case and final investment decision, including finalising industrial offtake agreements and water allocations, geotechnical investigations, refining design and cost estimates, design work, and ongoing community engagement.

If the final business case finds that the project is feasible and the project goes ahead, this plant and this pipeline could deliver the water required to process and refine critical minerals, and produce renewable green hydrogen essential to build a green metals industry in the Upper Spencer Gulf, supported by South Australia’s cleaner and cheaper energy.

Any decision to fund the project will take account of this work; and advice including from Infrastructure Australia.

Secure water supply is critical for the development of a hydrogen industry and any related green industrialisation in the region.

The project aims to provide a climate- independent water source to the Upper Spencer Gulf and Far North of South Australia to enable emerging industries that will help Australia achieve its target of net zero by 2050.

It could also take pressure off Far North groundwater sources and reduce reliance on the River Murray, protecting those natural water supplies increasingly vulnerable to a changing climate.

Our economic plan and our Budget is all about making our people and our private sector an indispensable part of the transformation to net zero.

To help the people of South Australia grab the jobs and opportunities on offer in the defining decade ahead, we have to better incentivise and unlock investment in important projects like this one and that’s what a Future Made in Australia is all about.

A Future Made in Australia relies on a Future Made in South Australia.

/Public Release. View in full here.