​Media Release

Productivity and certainty flow from project

8 December 2015

Work has been completed on a $40.2 million water modernisation project under the Australian Government's Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Programme, which will drive productivity and growth for farmers and communities in central New South Wales.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the infrastructure works would improve the reliability and efficiency of irrigation for around 210 mainly small horticultural farms in the Griffith area, particularly during periods of peak water demand.

"Water is a precious resource and water saved is like money in the bank," Minister Joyce said.

"Good water management means we can invest wisely in the future of agriculture, communities and the environment—to guarantee the future of the Basin all three must thrive.

"This project, the Hanwood Modernisation Works, will drive regional development and growth for Riverina communities.

"The project included replacing or restoring channels—some about 80 years old—repairing meters and regulators and installing automated flow control structures.

"Automating the irrigation system will mean increased reaction times—so irrigators can get the precious resource when they need it—improving the efficiency of the network and the sustainability of the farms that rely on it.

"Under the agreement some water savings will be returned to the Australian Government to sustain river health for future generations.

"The Australian Government has also invested a further $109.4 million for water infrastructure modernisation in the Riverina area, including the towns of Bilbul, Leeton and Yenda and the Wah Wah region.

"Overall, the Australian Government is providing almost $13 billion to better manage our waterways and improve key water infrastructure to benefit the environment and agriculture, this includes $10 billion for the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Programme."​​