Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, recently announced $20million of funding for the next stage of the Macalister Irrigation Project.

Ms Neville said the Labor Government would provide this funding through the $200million Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund that will be established following the successful passage of the Port of Melbourne lease legislation through Parliament.

The Macalister Irrigation project aims to modernise the Southern Tinamba supply area within the Macalister Irrigation District by converting approximately 85km of manually operated earthen irrigation channel to approximately 38km of pipe and 32km of automated channel.

Approximately 9,700ml of water savings for agricultural use will be generated and 170 customers will be connected to a modernised water supply system.

Ms Neville said, “The Macalister Irrigation District contributes in excess of $500million through dairy, vegetable production, cropping and beef cattle to the Gippsland economy.”

The funding is part of the Government’s launch of its Regional Statement, which outlines its commitment to rural and regional Victorians.

A key focus of the statement is the establishment of nine new regional partnerships across the state, with representatives from community, business and all three levels of government.

The new Gippsland region will have its own Regional Partnership ensuring government decisions and investments reflect the priorities of the families, workers and businesses in Gippsland.

The Government will work with the Gippsland region to address key challenges which include improving social and economic opportunities while tackling high localised levels of unemployment, as well as improving health in the Latrobe Valley through place-based initiatives under the Public Health and Wellbeing plan.

The Government will also identify opportunities for environmental protection and enhancement that will support new and improved existing nature based tourism opportunities in the region.

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