The major redevelopment of Gippsland’s most significant irrigation system is nearing completion with Federal MP Darren Chester pleased that work is progressing well on phase two of the Macalister Irrigation District modernisation project.
Mr Chester said the $160 million modernisation project, which started in 2017, will deliver economic and environmental benefits for decades to come.
“Construction on the latest stage, which commenced on the Newry pipeline in January this year is on track to be completed by August, in time for the 2023 irrigation season,” Mr Chester said.
“Southern Rural Water is working hard to manage the modernisation project with the Federal Government providing the majority of funding for this stage, along with contributions from farmers and the State Government.
“Phase two will deliver more than 7,200 megalitres of water savings and drive vital investment in on-farm efficiencies, improving farm productivity and making the region more resilient during dry seasons.”
Mr Chester has thanked SRW staff along with land owners and contractors Jaydo Construction for working together to minimise disruptions and maximise benefits for the community.
“The dairy and horticultural sector will obviously benefit from the modernisation project but it’s also delivering environmental outcomes including reduced nutrients entering local streams and the Gippsland Lakes,” Mr Chester said.
“The replacement of the open channel system with new pipelines will deliver water savings of 17% for the environment through reduced leakage and evaporation. It’s a fantastic long-term investment in the future of our environment and the vital agricultural sector in Gippsland.
“I’m keen to keep working with industry and SRW to deliver more irrigation projects across Gippsland that will improve food security, care for the environment and boost our region’s economy.”