Wedderburn farmers will share in $58 million of irrigation funding to upgrade their ageing water systems.
The central Victorian town joins Werribee and Bacchus Marsh as beneficiaries from the upgrades, announced today as part of the state government’s 2016-17 budget.
It follows a visit by Premier Daniel Andrews to the drought-affected region last November.
Labor’s year-long financial plan outlined almost $500 million in new water infrastructure today to extend the state’s water grid as well as addressing waterway health.
Another $1.2 million was put aside for the development of a business case for the Mitiamo stock and domestic pipeline.
Water minister Lisa Neville said the announcement would prepare Victoria for challenges like climate change and population growth, and safeguard its economy in dry times.
“Dry conditions and extreme weather events are having a seriously detrimental effect on regional communities across Victoria,” she said.
“We forget how important water is – until we lose it.
“By investing now to upgrade our water infrastructure, we’ll protect homes, businesses and jobs in the future.”
Her sentiments were echoed by Victorian Farmers Federation water council chairman Richard Anderson who welcomed investment in the precious natural commodity.
“Years like this reinforce the need to invest in our water security,” Mr Anderson said.
“Almost every farmer is feeling the impacts of one of the state’s worst water shortages.
“Farm water use, be it for irrigation purposes or for stock and domestic use, is under considerable pressure and has had us questioning the long term outlook for water availability in many of our catchments.”