Premier Daniel Andrews has today announced that new standpipes and firefighting tanks will be installed to boost water availability for farming and firefighting in western parts of Victoria.
Mr Andrews made the $1.1 million announcement during a visit to drought affected communities in north west Victoria, joined by Minister for Water Lisa Neville and Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford.
Fourteen standpipes will be installed to ease the burden on farming families forced to travel long distances to cart water to their properties for stock and domestic use. The standpipes will be installed in communities including Ararat, Stawell, Great Western, Edenhope, Aspley and Kaniva.
Nine firefighting tanks will be also be installed near existing standpipes along the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline to provide a more reliable and higher pressure water supply for firefighters ahead of what is shaping up to be a long and difficult fire season.
The Andrews Labor Government is also supporting the Wimmera Development Association in the development of the Wimmera Weather business case to have a real-time radar in either the northern Wimmera or southern Mallee.
The Bureau of Meteorology has been actively supporting the Association and will provide support to the project which will support local farmers, water resource managers and emergency services.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Providing more standpipes eases the travel and time burden for farmers and families already dealing with the impact of drought on their properties.”
“It’s in times of drought that the importance of secure water supplies for people in our regional communities matters most.”
“Farmers in the Wimmera and Mallee have raised rain radar blackspots as a key issue – we’ve listened and now we’re addressing it.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“The dry conditions being experienced here in Western Victoria can take a very heavy toll on farming families who are forced to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours carting water to keep their properties operating.”
“We recognise the impact dry conditions are having on farmers and regional communities and we’re looking at these types of practical measures to help where we can.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
”Farmers need the best real-time data to help them better prepare and this business case is a step towards ensuring they’re able to do that.”
“We will work with the Bureau of Meteorology and the local community to ensure they have the best case to get this important asset.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021