The Andrews Labor Government’s ongoing investment in the Macalister Irrigation District is supporting local farmers and creating local jobs.
Minister for Water Lisa Neville and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today joined representatives from Southern Rural Water to mark completion of the $32 million first phase of the Macalister Irrigation Modernisation Project, and to launch the second phase of the upgrade.
The next stage of the project, which is now commencing, will replace ageing and inefficient channel systems with around 38 kilometres of pipeline and automate a further 33 kilometres of channels.
The $60 million second phase will deliver an extra $45-50 million to Victoria’s economy each year and is jointly funded by irrigators, the Victorian Government and Commonwealth Government through its National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.
Minister Neville has now signed an agreement, which, pending Commonwealth approval, will release the Commonwealth’s $20 million contribution to the Project.
These projects are modernising the supply of water across the Macalister Irrigation District including:
- Upgrading 279 kilometres of channels built in the 1920s and 1950s through channel automation and pipeline
- Technology that regulates water supply to reduce water losses and improve service to customers
- State-of-the-art design of the Southern Tinamba Pipeline
- The construction of a balancing water storage near the Thomson River to save water and improve supply
- Modernising outlets that distribute water to farmers
The Macalister Irrigation District is a powerhouse of the Victorian agricultural sector, contributing an estimated $500 million to the Victorian economy.
It is now operating at a record 80% efficiency, and the next phase of the project will further increase efficiency and water savings.
Quote attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“We’re investing $60 million in the Macalister Irrigation Modernisation Project to support local farmers, boost production and create jobs.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“Modernising critical water infrastructure is crucial for dairy farmers across our Gippsland region. This doesn’t just improve water efficiency on farm, but ensures the environmental sustainability of the industry long term.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“This project is creating local jobs during construction and will support many more by supporting food and fibre production across our region.”