Thousands of people across central north-west Victoria now have reliable stock and domestic water supply, with the completion of the South West Loddon Pipeline project.
For the first time, the newly completed pipeline provides secure reticulated water supply to more than 1500 rural properties across 2900 square kilometres surrounding Inglewood, Newbridge, St Arnaud and Wedderburn.
In 2015, Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville and Premier Daniel Andrews visited the then drought-hit region and met with communities to discuss what support was needed, including secure water supply for the south-west Loddon region.
The following year, they announced $40 million towards the landmark $88.9 million project.
Ms Neville said she was proud to have delivered the project for the community.
“The completion of the pipeline is a major milestone,” she said.
“I thank local Farmers Federal members and everyone in the community who advocated for the project and worked with us to deliver it — it will bring big benefits for the region.
“This project will provide water security for farmers and the agriculture sector — which is good for the wellbeing of agriculture communities, for jobs and for liveability.”
The Victorian Government said the project would help communities who have battled severe drought in recent years by significantly increasing the region’s water security, as well as reducing reliance on water carting during dry times.
It said the secure water supply for the south-west Loddon area would deliver economic benefits for the surrounding communities, by supporting employment in the local farming and intensive livestock sectors.
The completion of the 1300 km South West Loddon Pipeline is part of the Victorian Government’s Water for Victoria plan.
The project will also improve regional water resource management by interconnecting the Wimmera-Glenelg system with the Goulburn system, helping to boost the agricultural sector that underpins the area’s economic growth.
The $88.9 million project was jointly funded by the Victorian Government ($40 million), Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water and landowners ($28.9 million) and Federal Government ($20 million).