The Victorian Government has invested $48.4 million for new water infrastructure projects and environmental works to modernise the state’s water systems.
The investment will fund projects that modernise irrigation, secure water supplies through recycling and stormwater use, assist with bushfire recovery, and benefit the environment across Victoria.
The funding includes $10.4 million funding for Phase 2 of the Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation project.
The Macalister Irrigation District already contributes up to $500 million to Victoria’s economy each year.
Ongoing investment will ensure the project will be completed, supporting farmers and creating local jobs.
The modernisation works improve productivity and efficiency for irrigators, save water by reducing leakage and, and improve the health of the Gippsland Lakes by reducing nutrient runoff.
In addition, the package is supporting vital bushfire recovery efforts with $10.3 million invested in restoring waterway and catchment health, and replacing essential infrastructure such as water monitoring stations, emergency water supply points and flood warning gauges.
Native fish habitat and endangered native fish species are also getting a boost thanks to $17 million for environmental waterway works in Northern Victoria.
$10.7 million is also being invested in integrated water management projects to secure water supplies by better using storm and recycled water – from Gunbower to Pakenham to Sunshine and Westernport.
The government’s Building Works package will deliver shovel-ready projects – big and small – to get thousands of people back to work across the state as Victoria continues to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.
This new funding is part of the Victorian Government’s new $2.7 billion Building Works package, and brings its total contribution for the modernisation project to $46 million, with local irrigators and the Federal Government contributing the remainder of the funding.
Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said the funding would create jobs across Victoria by funding projects both in metropolitan Melbourne and in regional Victoria.
“By investing in water infrastructure, we are investing in a bright and healthy future for all Victorians no matter where they live – with increased water security and a healthy environment,” Ms Neville said.
“It’s been an unbelievably tough few months for fire affected communities – this work to restore waterway health and assets is an important part of our bushfire recovery efforts.”