The Victorian Coalition Government has secured a long-awaited confirmation from the Commonwealth of $103 million for the modernisation of Sunraysia’s irrigation system, Minister for Water Peter Walsh said today.
Mr Walsh said the funding was secured as part of negotiations on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and was confirmed in a letter to the Victorian Government from Federal Water Minister Tony Burke.
“The Commonwealth has now firmly committed $103 million for modernisation works for the Sunraysia district, in return for receiving seven gigalitres of water for the environment,” Mr Walsh said.
“We will now submit a revised business case and I expect this to receive a favourable response from the Commonwealth.
“The Coalition Government is working hard to get this over the line and end the uncertainty for Sunraysia’s farming communities.
“The realisation of this project will mean Sunraysia growers will be able to make investment decisions for their businesses knowing that they will be operating with efficient irrigation infrastructure.”
Mr Walsh thanked the Mildura Development Corporation for its efforts in bringing the community together to develop a proposal for the system modernisation funding, and recognised the strong local representation provided by the Member for Mildura, Peter Crisp.
Mr Crisp said this important irrigation project would boost the region’s economy, employment and long-term horticulture future.
“For a long time we’ve needed a modernised system to complement the high technology and water use efficiencies being used on our local blocks,” Mr Crisp said.
“The modernisation will also help people who no longer use their land for irrigation following the sale of their water.
“The whole district will benefit from the flexibility and better service of new irrigation infrastructure, and it is terrific to finally have a firm funding commitment from the Commonwealth to ensure these works go ahead,” Mr Crisp said.