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Victorian Minister for Water Peter Walsh has announced that stock and domestic water will flow year-round to 112 properties in the Cosgrove area in Victoria, thanks to a new $6 million pipeline.

Joined by Member for Shepparton Jeanette Powell at the Tungamah Pump Station, Mr Walsh said the Cosgrove Stock and Domestic Pipeline would provide landholders with a reliable water supply and improved water quality.

“This project is a Victorian Coalition election commitment that I am proud to see fulfilled today,” Mr Walsh said.

“The Coalition Government is providing $5.4 million to the Cosgrove Stock and Domestic Pipeline, including $3.5 million made available for the project when the Water for Rivers program ended.

“The 65 kilometre pipeline will service about 11,000 hectares of agricultural land, sourcing water from the Goulburn system through an extension of the existing Tungamah piped water district.

“It will replace the current Shepparton Stock and Domestic Community Water Supply Scheme channel system, which is more than 120 years old. The Victorian Coalition is taking action to see this outdated and inefficient system finally upgraded.

“The Water Supply Scheme sources water from the Broken River and was under major water restrictions from 2006 to 2010 during the worst of the drought. While the community-operated system was a great initiative when established in the 1890s, it is well overdue for an upgrade.”

Goulburn-Murray Water has begun an early works program, with the project hoped to be complete by late 2014. Funding of a further $650,000 will be raised through a tariff to Cosgrove customers.

Mrs Powell said she and Minister Walsh had met with irrigators in the Cosgrove area a number of times and she was delighted with the announcement.

“This is a significant investment to modernise the region’s irrigation infrastructure and support growth in the local farming and wider Shepparton communities,” Mrs Powell said.

Mr Walsh said the project would also benefit irrigators in the Broken system by saving 830 megalitres of water, which would be cancelled out of the Broken irrigation system.

“This means improved reliability of supply for irrigators, as well as the potential for more unregulated flows to be passed through the system to benefit the environment in wet years,” Mr Walsh said.

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