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20 May 2020

The Victorian Government has announced $10.4m funding to complete modernisation of the Macalister Irrigation District in a four-year program commencing this winter.

The commitment to the MID2 program from both State and Federal Governments, recognises the $500m in value the district brings to the Victorian economy annually.

“We welcome the Victorian Government announcement, which represents the final piece in a significant investment in the transformation of the MID over several years,” said Diane James AM, Southern Rural Water Chairman.

The $62.7m four-year program of works is being delivered through $10.4m from the State Government, $31m from the Federal Government and the remainder from SRW MID customers.

The benefits include improved water delivery and better performance across some of the oldest and least efficient zones in the MID, and will create water savings of more than 12 gigalitres.

“This unlocks great value for our customers, who will be able to take advantage of a more efficient system to improve their own on-farm irrigation practices,” said Cameron FitzGerald, Managing Director.

The MID2 project will reconfigure the Newry irrigation supply with pipeline replacing channels and automation of outlets. There will also be upgrades and reconfiguration of the Nuntin supply network. A large proportion of the funding will go towards channel and outlet reconfiguration upgrades across the district.

The funding takes the total to $154.7m for the MID upgrades and modernisation program, which has included channel upgrades, new pipeline, automated outlets, a balancing storage and reconfiguration of parts of the 100-year-old system.

“These works support productivity and growth across southern Victoria, where the benefits flow beyond our customers’ businesses, to the markets they supply, the communities they live in and to the environment, with fewer nutrients reaching the Gippsland Lakes,” Mr FitzGerald said.

The program of works is starting in the winter 2020 works period, alongside the final Riverslea stage to complete the previous Phase 1B works from the Southern Tinamba supply network.

See below for the media release from the Minister for Water Lisa Neville.

Delivering $48 Million Of Water Infrastructure Projects

19 May 2020

The Victorian Government is creating jobs and opportunities for Victorian businesses through water Infrastructure projects and environmental works across the state.

Minister for Water Lisa Neville today announced $48.4 million in water projects throughout Victoria that modernise irrigation, secure water supplies through recycling and stormwater use, assist with bushfire recovery and benefit the environment.

The funding is part of the Government’s new $2.7 billion Building Works package and includes $10.4 million funding for Phase 2 of the Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation project.

The Government’s ongoing investment in the Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation project will ensure the project will be completed – supporting farmers and creating local jobs.

The modernisation works improve productivity and efficiency for irrigators, save water by reducing leakage and, and improve the health of the Gippsland Lakes by reducing nutrient run-off.

This new funding brings the Government’s total contribution for the modernisation project to $46 million with local irrigators and the Commonwealth contributing the reminder of the funding.

The Macalister Irrigation District already contributes up to $500 million to Victoria’s economy each year.

In addition, the package is supporting vital bushfire recovery efforts with $10.3 million invested in restoring waterway and catchment health and replacing essential infrastructure such as water monitoring stations, emergency water supply points and flood warning gauges.

Native fish habitat and endangered native fish species are also getting a boost thanks to $17 million for environmental waterway works in Northern Victoria.

$10.7 million is also be invested in integrated water management projects to secure water supplies by better using storm and recycled water – from Gunbower to Pakenham to Sunshine and Westernport.

The Government’s Building Works package will deliver shovel-ready projects – big and small – to get thousands of people back to work across our state as Victoria continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville

“This $48.4 million will create jobs across Victoria with funding for projects in metropolitan Melbourne and in regional Victoria.”

“By investing in water infrastructure, we are investing in a bright and healthy future for all Victorians no matter where they live – with increased water security and a healthy environment.”

“It’s been an unbelievably tough few months for fire affected communities – this work to restore waterway health and assets is an important part of our bushfire recovery efforts.”