Why the project is needed?
The existing Nyngan to Cobar pipeline and pumping stations are the main source of water supply to the township of Cobar and its surrounding industries and mines. The existing pipeline and pumping stations are nearing the end of their design life, with the emergency backup system also at risk of failure. This presents a risk to water security and reliability for the township and mines in the area.
This project seeks to replace the pipeline and pump stations through a business case to NSW Government. Concurrently, Water Infrastructure NSW is seeking funding from both the NSW and Australian Governments to replace the pumping stations as critical infrastructure.
The proposed pipeline project will:
- improve water reliability for Cobar and surrounding townships
- increase water accessibility and reliability for industries including agriculture and mining
- improve the use of technology including pipeline monitoring.
The Nyngan to Cobar Pipeline is located in far-Western NSW, with Cobar being the endpoint. Cobar is situated 300 km from Dubbo and 450 km from Broken Hill and has a population of approximately 4,000 people.
Water Infrastructure NSW is currently preparing the business case. The draft business case is scheduled for review in the first half of 2022 after which time the WINSW delivery team will proceed through the NSW Infrastructure Investor Assurance Gateway 2 review process and NSW Cabinet Expenditure Review Committee assessment before a final investment decision is made.
It has been identified the replacement of the current pump stations at Nyngan, Hermidale and Cobar are critical and should be accelerated, therefore the project is now staged so that the pump stations can progress to address the immediate critical needs:
- Stage 1 – replacement of pump stations at three locations
- Stage 2 – replacement of pipeline
This staged approach is in line with the preliminary engineering works completed to date and anticipated construction staging.
Water Infrastructure NSW has applied for additional funding from NSW and Australian Governments (including National Water Grid Authority) to accelerate the replacement of the pump stations (stage 1). This additional funding will allow Water Infrastructure NSW to progress the replacement of the pump stations while continuing with the relevant studies and investigations required to inform the draft business case to replace the Nyngan to Cobar pipeline.
The project team are concurrently undertaking the relevant technical, environmental and cultural heritage investigations to progress the business case for the pipeline which is on track for the first half of 2022.
Water Infrastructure NSW is committed to building and maintaining respectful, trusted and collaborative relationships with our communities and stakeholders to ensure water infrastructure projects achieve the best possible outcomes.
We will be offering ample opportunities for our communities and stakeholders, including First Nations communities, to engage with us and provide feedback as we develop the business case for the project.
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Who is responsible for the delivery of the proposed project?
Water Infrastructure NSW is leading the development and delivery of the Nyngan to Cobar Pipeline Final Business Case. The Cobar Water Board is a key stakeholder of the project but is not responsible for developing the business case.
What guidelines need to be followed when developing the final business case?
NSW Treasury sets the guidelines, key assumptions and parameters around the development of NSW Government business cases.
Additionally, Infrastructure NSW has guidelines around the investor assurance framework which the business case must comply with. As part of this, Water Infrastructure NSW is required to demonstrate any potential project is fit-for-purpose, economically viable and that potential impacts are managed.