- $1.6 million Heyfield Regulator Retrofit Program marks a milestone in the $32 million upgrade of the Macalister Irrigation District
- 18km of channel infrastructure modernised, saving 1,200 megalitres of water
- Coalition Government building a better Victoria through productive regions
The Macalister Irrigation District (MID) is well on its way to becoming more efficient, with the launch of the $1.6 million Heyfield Regulator Retrofit Program which will save water and boost productivity.
Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan and Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs and The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull today launched the completed regulator project.
Mr Ryan said the retrofit program had upgraded 18 kilometres of old channel infrastructure and was a major step forward in the modernisation of the Macalister Irrigation District.
“The Heyfield Regulator Retrofit Program has improved the efficiency and reliability of water supply to 22 properties and has replaced ageing, open channels with an automated delivery system,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said the retrofit program was expected to save 1200 ML of water, which would be returned to productive use.
Mr Bull said the MID is the largest irrigation district in southern Victoria, with irrigators contributing more than $500 million to the Gippsland economy each year.
“The Victorian Coalition Government has invested $16 million in the first phase of upgrading the Macalister Irrigation District, and this funding has been matched by Southern Rural Water.”
Mr Bull said the modernisation is critical to ensuring the region continues to thrive and this investment will enable farms to become more productive and more profitable.
“The modernisation will provide irrigators with reliable and secure water supplies to help increase production and meet the Coalition Government’s target of doubling Victoria’s food and fibre production by 2030,” Mr Bull said.
“This is in stark contrast to the former Labor government’s approach of taking water from farming communities and sending it to Melbourne through the north-south pipeline.
“This Coalition Government is building stronger Victorian farming industries.”
Southern Rural Water Manager Irrigation Modernisation, Mike Budahazy said the program modernised 32 water regulator devices along irrigation channels in the Heyfield area.
“This means that water flowing through the channels is now controlled much more accurately via computers at Southern Rural Water’s head office,” Mr Budahazy said.
“More accurate control means that we can deliver much better service to farmers, and that we can save water which will be returned to the district for greater production.”
Kate Lancaster 0428 921 404 firstname.lastname@example.org (Deputy Premier)
Jacinta Cummins 0400 571 611 email@example.com (Minister Bull)