Water NSW has completed an upgrade to Chaffey Dam, near Tamworth, which provides water to irrigators in the Peel Valley.

The main purpose of the dam is to supply irrigation and stock needs in the Peel River Valley of northern NSW, and to supply water to the city of Tamworth. The upgrade has increased the dams permanent storage capacity from 62GL to 100GL.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce​ said, “This upgrade project will help ensure the future water security of Tamworth and the Peel Valley and it is a point of personal pride to see this project signed, sealed and delivered within three years, after I made a commitment to the project during the 2013 election campaign.

“It goes to show that when a personal commitment meets the actual ability to deliver, things get done – and done quickly.

“Despite the cynicism in some circles about politicians, this project is evidence that effective teamwork between all three levels of government brings the best benefits for the community – in this case, the Tamworth area and Peel Valley irrigators.

“Not only will the upgrade secure long-term water supplies for Tamworth, it will underpin the future productivity and prosperity of the region by supplying reliable water to growers.”

NSW Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Lands and Water, Niall Blair said this project drew on local resources and workforce – which was an important part of delivering a local project by local people.

“Improved water security on this scale represents a huge investment in the Tamworth community, as well as the business prospects of water users, including irrigators, who play such an important role in the local economy.

“But the long term appeal of a larger and more secure water supply will be hugely attractive to potential investors, visitors and those city dwellers looking for quality of life in regional communities like Tamworth,” Mr Blair said.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the enhanced water security represents both short term and long term benefit to the Tamworth region.

“I made the commitment when we went to the 2011 election to build this vital piece of infrastructure and today I stand proudly with the NSW Government knowing we delivered what others could only ever speak of.

“The project created local jobs, used local firms and materials and gave a welcome injection into our local economy, and when we see that sort of investment we see a noticeable boost to local business confidence.”

The $50million Chaffey Dam project was funded by the Australian Government’s National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns ($18.145million), the NSW Government ($27.668million) and Tamworth Regional Council ($3.968million).

Chaffey Dam features the larger of only two morning glory spillways in Australia, so named because the spillway is a similar shape to the flower.

Rather than spilling over the dam, high waters spill into the giant concrete egg-shaped funnel.​

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