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Coalition commits a further $10 million for Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation

  • Coalition commits $10 million for Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation
  • Finalised project will deliver 9700 megalitres of water savings back into production
  • Victorian Coalition aims to double food and fibre production by 2030

A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will invest $10 million into the Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced today.

In Maffra with The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull and The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien, Mr Ryan said the investment would contribute to Phase 1B of the project, which involved modernising the Southern Tinamba delivery system with pipelines and automated channels.

“The Coalition Government is a strong supporter of this major irrigation system modernisation project, which will boost the region’s economy by about $45 million every year through increased water efficiency and food production,” Mr Ryan said.

“We have already provided $16 million to Phase 1A of the Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation, which will connect 75 per cent of customers to a modernised system by 2017 and will save more than 12,000 megalitres of water, water which will go back into food production.

“I am pleased to announced today that if the Victorian Coalition is re-elected we will invest another $10 million to kick-start the $60 million Phase 1B of the project.

“This phase includes replacing about 85 kilometres of ageing, open channel with 38km of pressurised pipes and 26km of modernised automated channel – expected to save another 9700 megalitres of water.”

Mr Bull said he was pleased to see the Macalister Irrigation District Modernisation identified in the Federal Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper for potential Commonwealth funding.

“The Macalister Irrigation District is an absolute powerhouse of food and fibre production in Victoria. The district’s farmers already inject about $500 million a year into the state’s economy – imagine how much that will grow with this modernised irrigation infrastructure,” Mr Bull said.

“The Coalition Government has a clear vision for agriculture in Victoria. We want to double the state’s production of food and fibre by 2030.

“Projects such as this – combined with our $60 million Growing Food and Fibreinitiative, which is funding vital agricultural research and development – will ensure we reach that goal."

Mr O’Brien said the Liberal-Nationals Coalition’s clear vision for Victorian agriculture and its support for food producing regions was in stark contrast to the Labor Party.

“Labor has no vision and no commitment to invest in growing food and fibre production in Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Labor’s only real irrigation commitment has been its hollow promise not turn on the north-south pipeline if elected – which just shows that the $750 million project was a total waste of money.

“Unlike Labor, the Coalition will invest in projects that make a real difference forVictorian farmers and will help them to double food and fibre production.”