darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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CHESTER WELCOMES VICTORIAN COALITION MID COMMITMENT

May 1, 2013

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed a commitment by the Victorian Coalition Government to carry out the first stage of the Macalister Irrigation District (MID) 2030 plan.

Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Peter Ryan and Water Minister Peter Walsh today announced the beginning of a joint-program which will see the Victorian Coalition Government and local irrigators provide $16 million each, over three years, to modernise irrigation infrastructure throughout the MID system.

Mr Chester is a long-time supporter of the MID2030 plan and said he was pleased that the project would be commenced after years of hard work by local farmers and local representatives.

He said irrigation channel infrastructure upgrades would provide significant economic, employment and environmental benefits.

“Today’s announcement is a huge boost for farmers operating in the MID system,” Mr Chester said.

“It has come about after a number of years of planning and lobbying by local farmers in conjunction with Southern Rural Water and all levels of government.

“Implementing new technology and modernising the system will provide a range of benefits to farmers throughout the system and strengthen their viability into the future.

“I’m looking forward to the commencement of the first stage of the project and supporting the second stage, including lobbying the Federal Government for funding to assist the construction of the Southern Tinamba pipeline.

“The MID2030 plan is the perfect example of a project in a regional area that provides benefits to a whole community as well as the environment and is very worthy of Federal Government support.”

The planned upgrades, which include channel automation projects, outlet rationalisation, and construction of the Southern-Cowwarr balancing storage, will support the return of 12,300 megalitres of water a year to productive use.

Murray Goulburn has estimated that the additional water could increase milk production in the region by 24 million litres per annum.

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