The Andrews Labor Government is considering a proposal to connect water to rural farms and properties severely impacted by decade-long drought as part of a potential pipeline project across south-west Victoria.
Minister for Water Lisa Neville today welcomed the final business case for the East Grampians Water Supply Project submitted by Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water, which would deliver stock and domestic water to properties that have previously relied on their own catchment dams and carting water for use.
The $85.2 million project would construct a pipeline network that would deliver a secure stock and domestic water supply for up to 530,000 hectares of land to help boost agricultural productivity in the region.
The project would supply water to agricultural areas surrounding Ararat, and some sections of the Pyrenees and Northern Grampians Shires, where a more secure water supply is likely to improve agricultural productivity.
The project is supported by Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water’s Board and the Project Steering Committee, comprised of local council, government agencies and relevant catchment management authorities.
The business case is one of three potential projects being investigated under the $1 million East Grampians West Wimmera Feasibility Project, announced as part of last year’s drought tour.
The project will now be assessed against the rural water infrastructure investment principles outlined in Water for Victoria, along with other proposals received by the State.
The Water Minister today met with landholders, discussing their needs for the project, surveyed a potential site and discussed the opportunities for environmental, social and recreational benefits as a result of the pipeline.
A total of $64 million in government funding is being sought for the project, with a construction timeline estimated at three years from the date of funding approval.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“We’re focused on securing water supply for farming communities, to address the impacts of drought and climate change now and into the future.”
“These drought affected communities have been doing it tough. That’s why we’re meeting local farmers and landholders to help deliver the water security these towns need.”
“It’s great to get a first-hand understanding of the challenges local landholders are facing and the potential benefits of this pipeline project.”