The Federal and Victorian Governments have announced that the Mitiamo Pipeline Project is set to be completed in the coming days, supplying more reliable water supply and less water evaporation to irrigators across the state.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said, “The completion of the Mitiamo and District Water Supply Project is a great example of the Liberal and Nationals Government delivering the water infrastructure that forms the National Water Grid as part of our $3.5 billion investment to secure Australia’s water future.
“The pipeline will be completed this week and includes over 300km of new pipeline to supply a new district covering in excess of 58,000 hectares of land north of Bendigo and southwest of Echuca, providing a year-round service to around 170 rural properties.
“This project is fantastic news for the local economy which is strongly backed by agriculture, with project construction also having supported 170 jobs here in regional Australia.”
Historically, more than 80 per cent of water supplied via the channels in the region is lost before use and only two-thirds of the project area is currently serviced, with farmers incurring high water cartage costs.
Victorian Acting Water Minister, Richard Wynne, said the project will reduce public and private water losses by more than 1,000ML per year by replacing the old leaking channel with pipes, a pump station and 85ML storage facility to provide year-round water supply.
“A lack of reliable, quality water has constrained the expansion of agriculture in the Mitiamo region – this project will address this and help farming grow in northern Victoria,” Mr Wynne said.
“Through the Mitiamo pipeline and other major water projects, we’re replacing outdated water infrastructure and delivering for landowners and the community.
Water saved will be used to improve the health of rivers and wetlands in line with Victoria’s obligations under the Murray Darling Basin Plan with no socio-economic impacts.
Federal Member for Mallee, Anne Webster, said with around a gigalitre of water savings to be achieved each year, the completion of this project allows farmers to invest with certainty for the future.
“This is a fantastic project that will support agricultural benefits for farmers through improved stocking rate and livestock productivity,” Dr Webster said.
“The delivery of this project was a key Federal Liberal and Nationals Government election commitment and will help ensure a reliable supply of water 365 days per year.
“The completion of this project is great news for the local communities, as it will provide a secure and stable water supply.”
Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the project would lead to significant productivity gains for the region through the provision of a secure and stable water supply.
“Farmers are calling for certainty of supply and this important project now means they have that,” Mr Drum said.
State Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, congratulated those who helped make the project a reality.
“I also want to congratulate the passion and drive of the local community that has been central to the delivery of this important project,” Ms Allan said.
“The completion of the Mitiamo pipeline will add to the list of water infrastructure projects the Victorian and Australian Governments have already delivered in northern Victoria.”
Local Terrick Terrick landholder Alli Rumble welcomed the project’s completion.
“The Mitiamo pipeline project has given me the certainty to diversify my farm. I have filled in the dam, planted silver birch and been able to move forward with adding cattle to the property,” Ms Rumble said.
The Mitiamo and District Water Supply Project received $14.5 million from the Federal Government, $10.2 million from the Victorian Government and $4.3 million from Goulburn Murray Water.