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The Federal and Victorian governments will be jointly funding two business cases worth $1.6 million, delivering detailed planning to identify possible future projects to expand the National Water Grid. 

The Gisborne to Sunbury Interconnector Stage 2 and Riddells Creek to Sunbury Interconnector detailed business cases could unlock opportunities to further capitalise on investment through the National Water Grid Connections pathway, in Stage 1 of the Gisborne to Sunbury Recycled Water Interconnector.

The Federal and Victorian Governments are jointly funding both business cases on a 50:50 basis, contributing a total of $1.6 million.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the Federal Government’s investment acknowledges the value efficient capture and storage of water can have in these regions.

“The interrelated business cases are a vital early step towards a secure future for our farmers and regional communities, by supporting increased access to recycled water,” Mr Joyce said.

“This investment demonstrates our determination to deliver for the people of regional Victoria, to ensure the water infrastructure they need and deserve is available.”

Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said the partnership between the Federal and Victorian governments will investigate opportunities to expand on existing projects, such as the $116 million Western Irrigation Network, which is also being jointly funded by the Federal and Victorian governments and is currently being built.

“The Stage 2 business case will develop detailed designs for a 4.5km pipeline and storage option to connect the Gisborne and Sunbury Recycled Water Schemes, which could provide benefits to agriculture in Parwan-Balliang and offtakes to agricultural enterprises in Toolern Vale,” Ms Neville said.

“The Riddells Creek to Sunbury Interconnector detailed business case will develop designs for a 13.9km pipeline to connect the Riddells Creek Recycled Water Plant to the Sunbury Recycled Water Scheme. 

“The project will also investigate upgrading the Riddells Creek Recycled Water Plant to produce Class B water.”

Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie, said the business cases are a positive step toward unlocking more water for regional communities.

“Better water supply is what farmers and agricultural producers need to grow their business and get ahead,” Ms McKenzie said. 

“Our Government is committed to delivering water to where it is needed, to enable our regions and the industries they support to prosper well into the future.”

This investment forms part of the Federal Government’s commitment under the $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund to develop the National Water Grid.

For more information on the National Water Grid, visit www.nationalwatergrid.gov.au

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