The Victorian Government has approved a new study investigating options to improve water security for dairy farmers in the drought-affected South Gippsland region, including the construction of a new pipeline.
Victorian Minister for Water Lisa Neville announced $50,000 for a feasibility study to look at the construction of a new pipeline for the area.
“This is about investigating how best we provide greater water security to an important area of Victoria’s dairy industry.
“The feasibility study will look at practical solutions and report back to the community with options.
“It also shows the value of the Victorian water grid to provide security to regional communities like Gippsland,” Ms Neville said.
The study will examine long-term water supply options for farmers who are facing the combined impacts of dry conditions and lower-than-expected milk prices.
Among the options the study will consider:
- The best ways to increase on-farm storages, including rainfall runoff modelling and climate change scenarios to check reliability
- A 23km pipeline from Foster extending Victoria’s water grid to include the Yanakie area just north of Wilson’s Promontory.
The local community will have an opportunity to review the options when the study is completed.
Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said, “South Gippsland farmers and communities have been doing it tough for some time. This study is another important step towards maximising water security and certainty of supply for the region now, and into the future.”
The funding comes as Victorian water corporations announce initiatives to help their customers deal with the effects of drought and reduced milk prices.
Goulburn Murray Water and Southern Rural Water are also implementing delayed payment plans that aim to reduce cash-flow risks to farmers.