The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with the job of delivering Water for Victoria – an investment in water security, jobs, and a healthy environment for all Victorians.
The Victorian Budget 2017/18 will invest $116 million over three years to improve water security for local communities, support farmers, protect Victorian jobs, and improve the health of waterways across the state.
These initiatives build on last year’s record $468 million investment – including a record $222 million for waterway health – which brings the Labor Government’s total investment so far to deliver water initiatives to $584 million.
This investment responds to the water security challenges facing Victoria – including climate change and population growth – to ensure that the state has an efficient and sustainable approach to water management.
Water management initiatives receive a boost of $60.6 million, which will contribute to sustainable water planning, providing water security and creating confidence in water entitlements for farmers and other users.
In urban areas, $12.4 million will promote sustainable water use, water savings, and green spaces in the face of climate change and population growth.
$13.8 million will also help develop more efficient uses of the water grid, to ensure that water can be moved to where it’s needed most, particularly in dry conditions.
$7 million will drought-proof the Royal Botanic Gardens in both Melbourne and Cranbourne, protecting these iconic tourist and environmentally important sites from a volatile climate.
Other initiatives in the Budget for stronger water security include:
- $3.5 million to make Victoria’s waterways and water storages more accessible for Victorians to enjoy recreationally, including supporting community use of the Anglesea River estuary
- $5.2 million to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to deliver environmental programs in Northern Victoria
- $2 million for a new State Environmental Protection Policy, which will protect groundwater and surface water from pollution or degradation
- $5.7 million to apply climate science to water management and make the water sector carbon neutral
- $1.5 million to promote innovation through the Water Sensitive Cities Cooperative Research Centre
- $1 million towards protecting the Yarra River and its parklands and to establish the Birrarung Council
- $1 million for a rural drainage strategy in areas like South West Victoria, Gippsland and Northern Victoria
Unlike the previous Liberal Government, the Labor Government is on track to invest all funds from the Environmental Contribution Levy back into the sustainable use and management of water.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“We are meeting the challenges of climate change and population growth and ensuring Victorians have a secure water supply. Our plan – and this Budget – helps future-proof the state’s water system.”
“Water is critical to our communities, our economy, and our environment. This Budget helps protect Victorian farmers, families, and jobs.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020