The Andrews Labor Government has marked a major step forward for the $2 billion Connections irrigation modernisation project, with the release of a community consultation report.
Releasing the report today, Minister for Water Lisa Neville said the recent Connections community consultation sessions were an important opportunity to hear from irrigators.
The report shows landowners strongly support ‘Option Four’, announced as part of the project reset in June. This option provides for a channel-by-channel assessment and a fit-for-purpose approach to irrigation upgrades.
It’s considered the best way forward to complete the Connections project and create a sustainable future for irrigators, communities and the region in Northern Victoria.
More than 300 people attended the sessions as part of the two-week consultation program, allowing them to provide feedback and expertise on the four delivery options for the project reset.
The report has been presented to the Connections Stakeholder Consultative Committee. The Project Control Group will now finalise the project reset.
The Labor Government will work closely with the Commonwealth on resetting the Connections project. The community will also be consulted on the progress of the reset.
The Connections Project Control Group is working through a process of carefully assessing each of the 1168 channels with local staff, area managers, operations and maintenance staff.
The $2 billion Connections project aims to maximise water savings and secure the future of irrigated agriculture in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) for generations to come.
The community consultation report and further information can be found at www.gmwconnectionsproject.com.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“Hundreds of landowners have had their say and it’s clear that a channel-by-channel assessment is what they want.”
“The community consultation process marks a huge step forward for the Connections project to ensure the reset benefits irrigators, the environment and Northern Victoria as a region.”
“I look forward to continuing our positive work with the community, stakeholders and the Connections team to get this done and get this done right.”