Winter works

June 15, 2017

Upgrades: Goulburn-Murray Water managing director Pat Lennon discusses the winter works program with Minister for Water Lisa Neville on Friday.

About $100million in critical works will be carried out in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District as part of the Connections project’s winter works program.

The works were announced on Friday by the Victorian Government as part of the state’s largest water modernisation project, and will include automation of 271 sites and the installation of 35km of pipeline and upgrades to 33km of channel.

In the Murray Valley district, which includes Cobram and its surrounds, works under the program include: 37 automation sites, 17.4km of channel remediation and the installation of 1.2km of pipeline.

This year’s winter works program will mean more irrigators will benefit from the modernised delivery network, the government said.

For farming businesses, this means better productivity from the automated water delivery system. For the environment, the project delivers water savings through upgrades, not buybacks.

In addition to the $100million works as part of the Connections project, Goulburn-Murray Water will spend a further $10million on its core works program over winter.

It was also announced Connections Control Group chair Mike Walsh was stepping down, with Peter McManamon moving into the role.

Mr McManamon is a veteran of the water sector, with more than 35 years experience in guiding large water infrastructure projects, including delivering the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline Project.

G-MW deputy chair Pat McNamara will also join the Control Group, replacing fellow G-MW board member Margot Henty.

Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville said it was important to get the work done in winter to ensure the productivity of farmers during the irrigation season and to achieve water saving targets.

Mr Walsh said the winter works program was an important part of the overall re-set of Connections and was a culmination of significant planning by the project team.

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