FARMERS have been angered by a dispute between the federal and NSW governments over who pays for water projects, which has delayed the provision of $700 million for improvements to irrigation systems.
NSW is resisting the commonwealth's demand that it pay 10 per cent of the costs of the projects, which the federal government agreed in principle to fund at a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments in July last year, according to The Australian Financial Review.
The stand-off means the funds have not been delivered for projects identified as priorities by the NSW government, including $221 million for improvements to rural water metering and $300 million for the modernisation of irrigation systems on farms.
The CEO of the NSW Irrigators' Council, Andrew Gregson, said federal Climate Change and Water Minister Penny Wong should sit down with NSW Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald to resolve the funding dispute.
Mr Gregson said the funding for on-farm projects was particularly important for irrigators in northern NSW, who were unable to access another program that was available for irrigators in the southern part of the Murray-Darling Basin.