SURREY, UK, March 30, 2007 -- Australia is set to embark on the largest modernization of irrigation infrastructure ever undertaken in its history, creating significant investment opportunities for British companies operating in the environmental, infrastructure and water industries.
The Australian Prime Minister's proposed £4.2 billion national water plan to improve Australia's water efficiency and address over-allocation of water in rural areas provides significant opportunities for investment in Australia's water infrastructure.
The announcement comes as regions around the globe face up to a reality of diminishing access to fresh water. Efficient and effective water supply management has become increasingly critical to sustaining successful economies.
The Australian Government proposes to improve the efficiency of water use, in order to maximize future water security. Features of the plan include: a nationwide investment in Australia's irrigation infrastructure to line and pipe major delivery channels; a nationwide program to improve on-farm irrigation technology and metering; and the sharing of water savings on a 50:50 basis between irrigators and the Australian Government leading to greater water security and increased environmental flows.
UK companies have a particularly strong reputation and a good track record in the development, planning and operation of water and wastewater services, water consultancy and plant equipment.
"British environmental and infrastructure investors could well benefit from Australia's positive action with opportunities in water saving infrastructure, resource monitoring and metering," says Nicola Watkinson, Invest Australia's Senior Investment Commissioner for Europe.
The effects of a diminishing water supply seriously affect food-producing regions such as Australia which utilizes vast expanses of land for large-scale food production and experiences diverse climate and soil conditions.
"Australia has an enormous opportunity to take the right steps now to expand its role as a global supplier of food and fiber, particularly with the economic growth occurring in the Asia-Pacific. With 70 per cent of Australia's water consumed in rural Australia, the Australian Government is taking affirmative action to sustain its agribusiness and fiber industries which continue to contribute to the economic growth of the country," concluded Nicola.
For a copy of the Prime Minister's National Plan for Water Security, click here.
For further information about Australia's water security, click here.