The Golden Plains region in western Victoria will receive Federal Government funding for the construction of a pump station and water pipeline, a move aimed to boost agriculture and livestock production in the area. The grant was awarded as part of the government’s Community Developments Grants program.

Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson represented Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs in celebrating the signing of the $4.17 million funding agreement with Golden Plains Shire Council.

“This funding is for the construction of eight kilometres of water pipe and a pump station to supply the Golden Plains Food Production and Employment Precinct with water from the Geelong potable water supply,” Mr Briggs said.

“By providing adequate water to the precinct, we are delivering the means to attract some 20 new intensive agriculture enterprises to the 3,000 hectare precinct, creating jobs and boosting the region’s economy.

“The project’s funding from the Community Developments Grants programme is an example of the Australian Government’s commitment to creating viable local and regional economies.

“This is important community infrastructure that delivers genuine benefits in terms of the economy and social wellbeing.”

Ms Henderson said the Australian Government’s investment was good news for the people of Geelong and Ballarat.

“The precinct has close links to markets, producers and population centres. With the expansion that this water project will enable, it will create employment and support economic growth,” Ms Henderson said.

“It is estimated that within 10 years, this larger project will generate $160 million in new private capital investment, and a $516 million increase in regional Gross Value Added.

“We’re looking at 775 new full-time equivalent jobs being created over the decade.

“To start with, the construction of the water pipe project is estimated to generate 45 new jobs.

“The project is expected to create positions at suitable skill levels for locals and for people in Geelong and Ballarat.

“This will be particularly beneficial, as Geelong and Ballarat residents are experiencing decreasing demand for their skill.”

The Victorian Government has provided $2.94 million to the water pipeline project, and the Golden Plains Shire has invested $1.23 million.

It is one of four infrastructure projects in the region being funded by the Australian Government to a total of $8.15 million.

Michelle Goldsmith

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