The Victorian Government will invest $48.4 million in water infrastructure and environmental works, with irrigation, water security and bushfire recovery programs to be funded across the state.
The projects will help modernise irrigation systems, support water recycling and stormwater use and benefit the environment, Victorian Minister for Water Lisa Neville said.
“By investing in water infrastructure, we are investing in a bright and healthy future for all Victorians no matter where they live, with increased water security and a healthy environment,” she said.
The funding, which is part of the government’s $2.7 billion Building Works package, includes $10.4 million for Phase 2 of the ongoing Macalister Irrigation District modernisation project.
This aims to improve productivity and efficiency for irrigators, save water by reducing leakage and improve the health of the Gippsland Lakes by reducing nutrient run-off.
An additional $10.3 million has also been allocated to restore waterway and catchment health following bushfires, as well as replacing essential infrastructure, such as water monitoring stations, emergency water supply points and flood warning gauges.
“It’s been an unbelievably tough few months for fire-affected communities,” Neville said.
“This work to restore waterway health and assets is an important part of our bushfire recovery efforts.”
Native fish habitat and endangered native fish species will also get a boost, with $17 million earmarked for environmental waterway works. In addition, $10.7 million will be invested in integrated water management projects to help secure water supplies by using storm and recycled water more effectively.
Neville said the Building Works package would deliver shovel-ready projects, helping to employ Victorians as the state continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“This $48.4 million will create jobs across Victoria with funding for projects in metropolitan Melbourne and in regional Victoria,” she said.