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Victorian Minister for Water Lisa Neville has announced the details of the Connections Project ‘reset’ which outlines the project’s new approach to ensure water savings for the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID).

The delivery of the Connections Project is now different from when the contract was first developed after a Government review undertaken by GHD found that fundamental changes needed to be made to ensure the project could be delivered.

Ms Neville said the key components of the reset are included in a new project roadmap outlining key achievements so far, the financial status of Connections and strategies for the project moving forward.

The roadmap was prepared by the Project Control Group (PCG) which was appointed by the Minister in March 2016.

The Government will work with local irrigators to find the best solutions for increased productivity, deliver more modern and efficient irrigation systems, and secure water savings as part of Victoria’s work to deliver the Murray Darling Basin plan.

The Connections reset is being developed by the PCG and Goulburn Murray Water, with on-going input from stakeholders and the community.

Together they will ensure the remaining $827million of available funds is used efficiently.

Project options being considered include:

  • A greater focus on tailoring solutions for individual channels
  • Modernising channels that support the highest number of primary producers
  • Replacing meters and modernising high water loss channels
  • Prioritising connections that support food and fibre production, the regional economy and jobs

The Government has released a summary document of the PwC baseline financial report, which provides details about the independent review and its key findings.

The report shows that as of 29 February 2016, there was $827million available for the project. This is made up of $439million of funds already committed and $388million available in uncommitted funds.

The Commonwealth, the Victorian Government and Goulburn Murray Water are working to deliver the $2billion Connections project for the benefit of irrigators, GMID communities and the environment.

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