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Central Gippsland irrigation study

Southern Rural Water has conducted a preliminary study of opportunities for future expansion of irrigated agriculture in the Latrobe, Thomson, Macalister and Avon catchments in Central Gippsland.

This pre-feasibility study was supported by funding from the Australian Government National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, an initiative of the Northern Australia and Agricultural Competitiveness White Papers.

The aim of the study was to consider projects that may promote regional development and boost employment for the region in the future. It gathered information to determine whether there would be sufficient demand and economic viability for expansion.

Note that there is no funding to begin work on any projects supporting 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 further review.

Further assessment was undertaken through September to December 2017, including landholder consultation to understand potential demand, possible environmental risk and cultural heritage assessment and preliminary economic analysis.

Areas investigated include the east side of the Avon River; the area between Toongabbie and the Macalister Irrigation District; an area along the Latrobe River between Traralgon and Sale; and the Dutson area. Supply options considered included gravity pipelines or individuals pumping from groundwater or surface water supplies.

Some of the potential reported demand for water has come from vegetables, dairy and fodder cropping. Participants in the demand survey were generally very positive about the future of agriculture in the region.

Download the  Central Gippsland irrigation study factsheet

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