Prime Minister Scott Morrison has given the NSW Berejiklian government a pat on the back for joining forces with his government to build the first dam in the state for more than 30 years.
Mr Morrison was in Tamworth on Sunday with Premier Gladys Berejiklian to announce a $1 billion investment in dams and water infrastructure projects around the state.
The 50/50 investment includes a $480 million new Dungowan Dam near Tamworth, along with a a $650 million upgrade of Wyangala Dam in the NSW Central West.
"I love working with premiers that want to build dams," a beaming prime minister told reporters.
"And not just say they want to do it but are actually going to do it and roll-up their sleeves and ensure that we can get these built."
Such infrastructure will aid regional and rural communities build drought resistance into the future.
The joint venture will also help free-up NSW funding to allow progress for critical town water projects across the state.
"We want to get these projects underway because this is about water supply and security," Mr Morrison said.
"These projects don't happen overnight but we're working as quickly as possible to get all the necessary work done so we can start digging."
Ms Berejiklian estimated the new dam will take about four years to build.
There will also be an initial $24 million 50/50 investment for the proposed 100,000-megalitre Border Rivers project on the Mole River, near the Queensland border.
Ms Berejiklan described the announcements as "historic" given the last dam built in NSW was in 1987.
But Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese was unimpressed by such promises after six years of federal coalition governments.
"Tony Abbott's come and gone, Malcolm Turnbull's come and gone, Barnaby Joyce's come and gone, Scott Morrison's there, they haven't dug a hole yet," Mr Albanese told reporters in Sydney.
"Well wait and see what happens.What I do know is that this government has no national drought strategy."
The Nature Conservation Council also warned the NSW government to retain thorough assessment of water infrastructure projects to avoid ecological catastrophes, like the mass fish kills earlier this year.
"We need thorough assessment of water infrastructure projects now more than ever to ensure we don't make matters worse," the council's chief executive Chris Gambian said in a statement.
"The problems we are facing today are a direct result of this government refusing to listen to its own planning experts, who warned of this looming water crisis six years ago."
Australian Associated Press