Construction on the $29 million Mitiamo Pipeline Project, which will secure a pressurised water supply to benefit northern Victorian farmers and sustain a viable regional economy, has begun.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Federal Government has committed $14.5 million to support the farmers of Mitiamo and surrounding communities.

“The Federal Government is getting on with the job of building new water infrastructure to meet regional Australia’s needs,” Mr McCormack said.

“This project is part of the Federal Government’s $3.5 billion commitment to build the dams, weirs, pipelines and other projects to help grow Australian agriculture, increase water security, build resilience to drought and support regional prosperity.

“It has been a tough year for Australia with the fires, drought and COVID-19 and we are working to invest in major infrastructure projects which will support our economy and create jobs.

“Earthmoving, electrical and construction specialists are on the ground now getting the job done.”

The Mitiamo Pipeline Project is funded by the Federal Government, Victorian Government and Goulburn-Murray Water. It comprises of a 360-kilometre pipeline, a pump station and an 85-megalitre winter supply storage dam at the top of the system.

Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, welcomed the start of the project.

“The Mitiamo Pipeline Project is one of a number of projects put forward by Victoria in a water efficiency prospectus in 2018 – it will deliver a pressurised water supply to 170 farming families, spanning 75,000 hectares north of Bendigo and south west of Echuca,” Ms Neville said.

“The Victorian Government’s $10.2 million commitment towards the Mitiamo Pipeline Project is another example of how we are working to deliver for Victorian communities.”

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said with around a gigalitre of water savings to be achieved each year, the project will allow farmers to invest with certainty for the future.

“It’s a fantastic project that will lead to significant productivity gains for this region,” Mr Drum said.

“It will support agricultural benefits for farmers through improved stocking rate and livestock productivity.”

Federal Member for Mallee, Anne Webster, said the delivery of this project was one of her election commitments and would ensure a reliable supply of water 365 days of the year.

“The start of this project is great news as it will change the future of local communities by providing a secure and stable water supply,” Dr Webster said.

Victorian Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, said the project would create important jobs for regional Victorians and boost the local economy.

“I’d like to recognise the hard work of the local community in pushing for this project – it’s exciting to now see work about to start,” Ms Allan said.

Construction of the Mitiamo Pipeline is due for completion in mid-2021.

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