Southern Rural Water is looking at opportunities to expand irrigated agriculture in the Latrobe, Thomson, Macalister and Avon catchments in Central Gippsland. The aim of the study is to consider projects that may promote regional development and boost employment for the region in the future.
This study is supported by funding from the Australian Government National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, an initiative of the Northern Australia and Agricultural Competitiveness White Papers.
This is a pre-feasibility study. We are gathering information to determine whether there is potential for irrigation to be expanded. There is no funding to begin work on any expansion into new irrigation areas at this stage.
Phase 1 of the project was completed in July 2017 and included desktop land capability and water resources assessments. These were used to select focus areas for more detailed analysis.
Further assessment has been undertaken through September to December 2017, including landholder consultation to understand potential demand; concept design and costing of possible delivery infrastructure options; and preliminary economic analysis. Screening environmental and cultural heritage assessments have also commenced.
There are now three key study areas, including:
- Toongabbie/Winnindoo – between Cowwarr Channel and Cairnbrook Road (approx.)
- Latrobe River – from Fells Creek to Rosedale (approx.)
- Bushy Park to Llowalong area, adjacent to the Avon River
These study areas may be altered or eliminated as the study progresses based on level of demand, environmental risk, infrastructure cost and so on.
The study is expected to conclude in March 2018. The focus for the next few months will be finalising the concept design and costing, the economic analysis and the environmental and cultural heritage assessments.
Further information is provided in the attached FAQs. You can also register your interest in the project via https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SRWIrrigationROI or by calling Anna Kelliher at RMCG on (03) 5441 4821.