$112 million has been allocated in the Victorian Budget 2022/23 to manage water sustainably into the future – maintaining green spaces, supporting farmers, and securing the drinking water supply.
The Victorian Government has announced the details into its future investments for securing long-term water supplies, and protecting jobs, farmers, families and communities that rely on them.
The Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy will receive $56.6 million to support the 50-year water security plan. This strategy supports jobs, communities, industry, and agriculture across the region.
$10 million will go towards the waterway and catchment health projects, improving the water supply to the Lower Latrobe wetlands, delivering a fishway at Maffra Weir and investigating ways to improve the health of the Moorabool River and upgrade the Werribee Diversion Weir.
$39 million will create more recycled and stormwater projects, giving communities and businesses guaranteed water supply for green spaces such as local parklands, and preserving the drinking water supply.
As part of the Water Cycle Adaptation Action Plan, $6 million will be allocated to protect the Victorian water sector from the harsh effects of climate change. This includes projects to increase stormwater and recycled water uptake and trialling new blue-green algae management approaches to prevent outbreaks.
$3.9 million will also be used to support the water aspirations of Aboriginal Victorians and develop leadership opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians on water sector boards.
$1.6 million will be to explore ways regional Victoria can unlock more benefits from the desalination plant, including investigating an expansion of the Melbourne-Geelong Pipeline, to ensure continued access to secure drinking water supplies, drought-proofing the natural environment, and supporting industry and agriculture.
$51.8 million will go towards a long-term solution to mine-affected groundwater under Bendigo, with remediation works to support tourism at Central Deborah Gold Mine, and protect the natural environment of Bendigo Creek.
Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said investing in water security means investing in the future of Victoria.
“As Victoria’s population grows and the climate gets warmer and drier, we need to use more recycled and stormwater to irrigate places like local parklands, and help save more water for drinking. It’s an important part of our plan to keep water bills low for all Victorians.”