Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Benalla irrigators to benefit from $6 million pipeline

Irrigators in the Benalla district will have greater reliability of water supply thanks to the construction of the Cosgrove Stock and Domestic Pipeline.

April 16, 2014 3:37am

Water Minister Peter Walsh and Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan.

Irrigators across Benalla and district will benefit from greater reliability of water supply thanks to a $6million pipeline announced by the Victorian Government last week.

Water Minister Peter Walsh and Nationals Candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan travelled to the region on Friday to announce the construction of the Cosgrove Stock and Domestic Pipeline, which will provide landholders with a reliable water supply and improved water quality.

‘‘The Coalition Government is providing $5.4million to the Cosgrove Stock and Domestic Pipeline, including $3.5million made available for the project when the Water for Rivers program ended,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘The 65km pipeline will service about 11000ha of agricultural land, sourcing water from the Goulburn system through an extension of the existing Tungamah piped water district.’’

The pipeline will replace the Shepparton Stock and Domestic Community Water Supply Scheme channel system, and is expected to be completed by Goulburn-Murray Water by the end of the year.

Mr Walsh said the project would also benefit irrigators in the Broken system by saving 830Ml of water.

‘‘This means improved reliability of supply for irrigators, as well as the potential for more unregulated flows to be passed through the system to benefit the environment in wet years,’’ Mr Walsh said.

He said many irrigators across Benalla and district had voiced concerns about the reliability of water supply after the decommissioning of Lake Mokoan.

‘‘It was a very vexed issue for them when the decommissioning of Lake Mokoan was done — that they actually lost reliability of supply — so putting this water back in goes some of the way to resolving that issue,’’ he said.

Ms Ryan said the new pipeline would also increase the ability for production for irrigators across the Benalla district.

‘‘Hopefully that will restore some confidence in the system following the decommissioning of Mokoan, where their concerns were ignored by the previous governments,’’ she said.

Last week’s visit was part of Ms Ryan’s election campaign, which has seen her travel to each corner of the electorate.

‘‘It’s been a very enlightening but wonderful process in just getting out and meeting people, and to hear what their issues are and hear what they want the government to do about it,’’ she said.

‘‘Even though the demographics are very different at either end of the electorate, a lot of the issues are the same — everyone wants to see security of employment, everyone wants to see new opportunities in their towns.

‘‘Employment and education are ongoing priorities ... I think that everybody deserves the dignity of a job, and that would be a key focus for me.’’

Ms Ryan and Mr Walsh will be joined by members of the National Party in Benalla on May 2 and 3 for the state conference.

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