Victorian Water Minister Peter Walsh unveiled a $3.73 million project to improve the health of the Campaspe River on Friday.By Elaine Cooney
Victorian Water Minister Peter Walsh was in Rochester on Friday to announce $3.73 million for the Caring for the Campaspe project.
The four-year North Central Catchment Management Authority-run project is designed to improve the health of Campaspe River and will triple the amount of environmental water entitlements for the river.
An additional 22.3Gl of environmental water will be released into Campaspe River in the next month, while on-ground works will include building 80km of fencing and activities to tackle weed control across 163 hectares.
Mr Walsh said on Friday the $3.73 million funding came from the environmental contribution levy district residents paid in their water bill.
He said this was one of the first projects the levy funded.
Mr Walsh said the 22.3Gl of water would come from the Goulburn-Murray Water Connections project as a result of the decommissioning of the Campaspe Irrigation District.
‘‘The Victorian Government recognises the Campaspe River has suffered throughout the drought and floods, and that has had a serious impact on the local community,’’ he said.
‘‘This river is a high-value system sustaining many species of flora and fauna, as well as an important community asset supporting recreational activities, but it is currently flow-stressed.
‘‘It is very pleasing to today announce both the start of the Caring for the Campaspe project as well as the significant boost to the river’s water entitlements held by the Victorian Environmental Water Holder.
‘‘Together, these projects will go a long way towards giving the river the best chance to get back to full health.’’
North Central CMA’s environmental flow projects officer Darren White said 100Ml a day would be released into the Campaspe River from Friday to Thursday and more would be released next month.
He said the authority would carefully monitor the weather and the rise and fall of the river to ensure there was no flood risk to the area.
Mr White said the analysis was undertaken every occasion before water was released.
‘‘We do risk analysis and are very mindful of thunderstorms,’’ he said.
He said the river was low and had a capacity to allow for an extra 900Ml, so the 100Ml a day would not be a large amount at once.
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