The Victorian Government has announced it will invest $1.6 million in an initiative to support irrigation jobs and promote a sustainable Goulburn Murray Irrigation District.

Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said the Farm Enterprise Strategic Planning Initiative will help farmers in the Goulburn Murray irrigation district make informed decisions about their businesses and contribute towards a resilient and productive agricultural community.

The Farm Enterprise Strategic Planning Initiative includes:

  • Irrigators meeting with irrigation planning specialists to help strategic planning
  • Facilitated group sessions so irrigators can meet to discuss issues and plans
  • Workbooks tailored to individual farms which will help irrigators understand the best way forward and make the right decisions for their business

The farming landscape has seen significant change over the past decade with the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, which includes the now re-set $2 billion Connections project. It is important that irrigators are provided with information and tools to help make important decisions on their businesses.

Ms Neville said irrigators are a key part of the social and economic viability of Victorian regions and as landholders they play an important part in maintaining the health of the environment

“This funding will give up to 400 irrigators across the district the opportunity to consult with experts – to help plan their futures,” Ms Neville said.

The initiative aims to support a more resilient and productive irrigation sector as well as build resilience to changing markets and environmental conditions such as climate change, drought and flooding. It also aims to support jobs in the region into the future.

It will support farming families to make well-informed decisions in light of changes in water availability, modernisation works, market dynamics, climate and water management under the Basin Plan.

The initiative will be delivered by North Central CMA in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Training and Resources and Goulburn Broken CMA.

Supporting liveable and resilient communities is a key focus of Water for Victoria – the state water plan – which looks to improve water security in our regional and rural communities, protect jobs and agriculture, recognise Aboriginal water values and improve environmental health.

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