​Media Release

Delivering water security for Victoria’s future prosperity

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce​
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure and Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester
​Federal Member for Murray, Damian Drum


16 November 2016

  • $3.9 million in Coalition Government funding for nine water infrastructure feasibility studies in Victoria have been signed off by the federal and state governments.
  • Funding delivers on the Coalition's commitment under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.
  • Applications are now open for a share of the remaining $192.5 million in capital funding

Funding has begun to flow to water infrastructure feasibility studies in Victoria after gaining the official sign off from both the federal and state governments, to strengthen economic growth and prosperity in the region.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce today announced that the $3.9 million in funding through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund would deliver feasibility studies into nine priority projects across Victoria.

"The Coalition Government is making good on our election commitment to deliver the water infrastructure where it is needed to ensure our agricultural industries remain productive and profitable. Victoria represents just 3 per cent of Australia's land area but generates 25 per cent the total value of our agricultural production, so it is vital we secure water delivery for its future," Minister Joyce said.

"The studies will look at the feasibility, economic returns and sustainability of a broad range of projects, to get them shovel-ready as quickly as possible. The projects include a reticulated water supply in the Mitiamo region, the Southern Victorian Irrigation Development to identify ways to expand the area under irrigation and increase agricultural productivity and phase two of the Macalister Irrigation District project.

"This is not simply a planning exercise, we are already building on these feasibility studies by rolling out the $440 million capital works component of the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

Federal Member for Murray, Damian Drum, said construction of the South West Loddon pipeline, through $20 million in Coalition Government funding, highlights the federal government's commitment to providing water security to irrigators.

"The project involves the construction of an additional 1,200 kilometres of pipeline to connect West Waranga Channel with the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline," Mr Drum said.

"The pipeline will supply around 780 megalitres of water, providing a secure water supply for the first time to 600 local landholders that, until now, have relied heavily on rainfall and catchment dams, while creating 130 local jobs in the area," Mr Drum said.

Minister Joyce was joined yesterday by the Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, to deliver on the Coalition Government's $20 million election commitment for capital funding to modernise water infrastructure in the Macalister Irrigation District in the states' South East.

"The Macalister Irrigation District produces world-class dairy, vegetable and other high-value products, and is a major source of jobs in Gippsland. This funding will increase the irrigation growth potential by 9000 hectares, creating more jobs in the dairy industry," Mr Chester said.

"The current irrigation system is outdated and in need of an upgrade. The MID2030 project will enable the supply system to operate at its optimum and provide 9700 megalitres in savings by eliminating water wastage."

"Applications are now open for state and territory governments to submit projects to be considered for a share of the remaining $192.5 million in capital funding," Minister Joyce said.

"And we will be building on this funding with the $2 billion National water Infrastructure Loan Facility, which will help get even more water infrastructure projects under construction as quickly as possible."

For more information, visit agriculture.gov.au/nwidf.​


Fast facts

LIST OF WATER INFRASTRUCTURE FEASIBILITY PROJECTS

  • $750,000 for a feasibility study into the Mitiamo reticulated water supply system;
  • $677,160 for a feasibility study into the Southern Victorian Irrigation Development;
  • $675,000 for a feasibility study into the second phase of the Macalister Irrigation District development;
  • $554,400 for a feasibility study into ways to increase water storage for Gippsland's Lindenow Valley, delivering greater water security for the region;
  • $540,000 to fast-track a feasibility study into new agricultural precincts west of Melbourne;
  • $300,000 for a feasibility study into developing a coldstream recycled-water pipeline for high value production in the Yarra Valley and Lilydale;
  • $180,000 for a feasibility study of a Moonambel water supply project;
  • $100,000 for a feasibility study into accessing deep groundwater for farmers in south-west coastal Victoria; and
  • $91,500 for a feasibility study into developing a water plan for South East Melbourne to support intensive horticulture in the region.