Now is the time to act on Malpas Dam Wall

02nd Mar 2021

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has used a speech on the floor of State Parliament to highlight the need for Armidale Regional Council to expedite planning work for the raising of the Malpas Dam wall, to more than double its capacity.
Mr Marshall said if any lesson had been learned from the drought, it is that immediate action was needed to ensure water security for Armidale, Guyra and surrounding communities.
“We do not have to build a new dam, if we lift the existing dam wall by 6.5 metres, as some of the early scoping studies have shown, then we can gain an extra 16 or 17 gigalitres – more than doubling the existing 13 gigalitre capacity,” Mr Marshall said.
“Recently, I met with Armidale Regional Council Mayor Ian Tiley and General Manager James Roncon to impress upon them the critical importance of this project in ensuring the economic and social viability of communities in the region.
“At the moment a yield study is being conducted by council and by the water division within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE).
“The State Government provided funds to council, which allowed it and DPIE, to establish the Malpas Dam upgrade road map. This outlines six key steps, from last year to 2024, to achieve the augmentation or expansion of the dam.
“That said, we cannot afford to wait another four or five years – we must act now while momentum is with us. The issue of water security is far too important to drag our feet.
“A Malpas Dam with more than double its current capacity has to be the legacy we leave the next generation to withstand future droughts and allow the region to grow.”