Murray Irrigation Ltd (MIL) has signed a $169 million deal with the Commonwealth Government.December 13, 2012 4:17am
The money is part of the government’s NSW Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program, linked to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, to make MIL’s infrastructure more efficient.
It took MIL close to 12 months to sign off on the deal, and the project will see some channels retired and others reconfigured.
Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) has been offered a similar deal, but MIL general manager Anthony Couroupis said MI had not signed as yet due to tax issues.
Mr Couroupis said MIL decided to sign despite similar tax concerns; the government originally announced the deal as a $181 million offer, but that was GST inclusive.
‘‘We are confident the changes will be made [to the tax arrangement] that the government has promised, and encourage them to go get on with it,’’ he said.
The project will see about 35 farms — or 90km of channel — in the MIL area involved in the retirement, with another 50 farms involved in the reconfiguration.
Mr Couroupis said MIL would maintain supply and delivery services to landholders affected by the reconfiguration, but in a different way.
Other works include:
■ New irrigation meters including outlets that can provide higher flows and remote control capability;
■ Remote control and some automation of channel regulators, and;
■ Clay lining of channels at five locations.
‘‘We are yet to determine precisely what works will happen where,’’ Mr Couroupis said.
‘‘That detailed planning is under way and will be communicated with customers over the next six months.’’
The works are due to be finished by the end of 2016.
Some of the water saved under the project will go towards the 2750 gigalitres required under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan for environmental purposes.
Mr Couroupis could not confirm how much water would be returned, saying ‘‘that information is between MIL and the Commonwealth’’.
Murray Group of Concerned Communities (MGCC) chairman Bruce Simpson — who is also deputy chair of the MIL board — said this infrastructure funding was what the community had been calling for ‘‘for a long time’’.
Speaking from an MGCC perspective, he said the project would create opportunities for contractors, employment, and positive flow-on effects to support industries such as mechanical repairs and fuel.
He also said it would improve output per megalitre.
‘‘It’s a substantial amount of capital coming into the region,’’ he said.
Mr Simpson said the local area should receive a level of investment ‘‘equitable with the volume of water we have contributed for the Water For the Future [basin plan program]’’.
‘‘We are a major contributor of water.
‘‘The reason we will hold the government accountable is the investment in irrigated infrastructure in this region is of national importance.’’
Mr Simpson said this irrigation area was one of the largest — and arguably one of the best — flood irrigation systems in the world.
The Better Local Government Association has applauded Greater Shepparton City Council’s decision not to apply for an increase on the 2.5 per cent rate cap set by the Victorian Government.
Yarrawonga/Mulwala's largest ever professional golf event, the Shepparton BMW Senior Victorian Open, got underway today with 124 players hitting off from 8am to 1pm on Yarrawonga's Black Bull Golf Course at Silverwoods.
Tatura’s rainfall for the last three months of 2015, 116.6mm, was marginally down on the long-term average for the same period, 120.8mm.
MEDDLING mothers can cause plenty of grief when you’re young, especially when they get involved in your love life.
THE second annual Christmas town party in Lockington did not quite attract the crowd organisers were hoping for, but it failed to dampen their spirit.
Special supplement in this weeks edition
For Tocumwal’s Lynda Snowden, working the land hasn’t stopped her from falling in love with the majestic surrounds of her day to day life.
TOOLLEEN Recreation Reserve Committee of Management presented three awards on Australia Day in front of 80 local residents.
The NSW Government has recommended the Old Cobram Barooga Bridge be placed on the State Heritage register.
Deniliquin doctor Marion Magee says she is disgusted with the treatment of local nurses.
Federal Member for Murray Sharman Stone has been criticised by two Victorian MPs for suggesting the Federal Government should stop spending money on the $2 billion irrigation modernisation program until problems are sorted out.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.