The Andrews Labor Government has announced $100 million of critical works in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District as part of the Connections Project – Victoria’s largest water modernisation project.
The works, which will be carried out over winter, will:
- Upgrade 33 kilometres of channel across 17 sites
- Install automation at 271 sites
- Install 35 kilometres of pipeline across seven sites
- Undertake works on more than 500 meters of outlets
A review of the project showed it had slipped behind schedule under the former Liberal and National Government, and not delivering benefits to the local community and the environment.
Since then, the Labor Government has worked closely with local irrigators, the Victorian Farmers Federation and the local community to redesign the project, get it back on track, and deliver the water savings within budget.
This year’s winter works program will mean more irrigators benefit from the modernised delivery network. For farming businesses, this means better productivity from the automated water delivery system. For the environment, the project delivers water savings through upgrades not buy-backs.
It also provides major investment in local jobs and infrastructure for the region.
In addition to the $100 million works program as part of the Connections Project, Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) will invest a further $10 million on its core works program over the winter period.
The Labor Government also announced today that the Connections Project Control Group Chair Mike Walsh was stepping down from the role and Peter McManamon would be the new PCG Chair.
Mr McManamon is a veteran of the water sector with over 35 years’ experience in guiding large water infrastructure projects across regional Australia including delivering the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline Project.
Goulburn Murray Water Deputy Chair and former National Party leader and Deputy Premier of Victoria Pat McNamara will also join the Project Control Group, replacing fellow GMW board member Margot Henty.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“It’s important to get this work done over winter, so we can ensure the productivity of farmers during the irrigation season and achieve our water savings targets.”
“The $2 billion Connections Project is modernising the network, delivering water more efficiently, encouraging farm efficiency and generating water savings that supports local jobs.”
Quote attributable to Project Control Chair Mike Walsh
“The winter works program is an important part of the overall Reset Delivery Plan and is a culmination of the significant planning effort by the Connections project team.”