The Victorian Government has recently announced a $27million investment in the installation of new pumps and pipelines to help communities facing drought.

The investment package will fund stage one of the South West Loddon Rural Water Supply Project, which includes the installation of several pipelines and pumps.

Stage one of the project will see 40km of trunk pipelines laid and three pumps installed at Woosang, Korong Vale and Wychitella, that will be used by local landowners for carting stock and domestic water to their properties.

The construction of the trunk pipelines will create opportunities for landholders to connect to the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline via lateral pipelines that will form part of later stages of the project.

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said that “We’re working to provide a water plan that improves water security for our communities, especially those in regional Victoria who are already doing it tough,

“The South West Loddon Rural Water Supply Project will connect locals to the water grid, and we’re fast-tracking funding for stage one of the project to make sure that happens as soon as possible.”

The Government also announced a range of other measures to support drought affected communities as dry conditions continue, including $1.1million in funding to increase water supply to remote towns that are not connected to a secure water network..

Another $1million of the funding will go to the Catchment Management Authority Drought Employment Program, which will provide local employment for people directly affected and have them undertake works on key environmental projects.

$150,000 will be given to the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline to increase water supply to properties within the southern Wartook Valley, which is currently without a secure raw water supply.

While $1.2million will be put towards undertaking critical maintenance of key roads in drought affected regions to improve safety and supports efficient and cost effective movement of freight.

A stock containment areas program will also be established to protect key soil and land assets and improve livestock management during drought, at a cost of $500,000.

Finally, $400,000 will go towards supporting ten local governments in order for them to deliver targeted social support for drought affected households, businesses and communities through community led events and activities.

These new measures complement a suite of farmer welfare and support measures announced by Mr Andrews.

The Government also announced $1million worth of community infrastructure projects that will be fast-tracked in drought affected local councils to help kick-start economic growth and create local jobs.

The Labor Government said they are committed to a number of major new investments in the water grid and environmental programs to ensure Victoria has a reliable supply of water and better environmental flows in rivers as part of its new water plan.

The water plan will be released in 2016 and is funded by a four year extension of the successful Environmental Contributions Levy.

As part of the $27million package, the Government has also set aside $10million to support drought-affected Victorians and will consult with the community on how these funds are best spent.

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