The original 1920s pump that founded the Merbein Irrigation District (VIC) will take pride of place in a new-look Pump Hill Park at the town’s entrance. The pump is being replaced in the $120 million Sunraysia Modernisation Project (SMP), and community members and groups were keen to retain the old pump for use as a community monument.

The SMP’s Project Director Mike Walsh said the pump would be a feature in the redeveloped parkland gateway to the town.

“As well as installing a new pump at the pump station, the SMP is installing a pipeline to replace the main irrigation channel through the Merbein township,” he said.

“Merbein’s major irrigation channel will be decommissioned and surrounding areas will be rehabilitated. This gives the opportunity to create an aesthetically pleasing common area that the general public will be able to enjoy while still paying homage to Merbein’s irrigation heritage.”

South Australian Joint Venture partners Guidera O’Connor Pty Ltd and Leed Engineering and Construction Pty Ltd (GOLD JV) have been appointed to carry out the SMP pipeline construction and channel decommissioning work at Merbein and Red Cliffs.

“The huge benefits that will come from the SMP are not only beneficial to the irrigation community – there are safety and community benefits as well and we are working with council and the community to maximize those.”

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