The Victorian Government has announced it will triple environmental water entitlements for the Campaspe River under the $3.73 million Caring for the Campaspe project.

State Minister for Water, Peter Walsh, said that the funding will be made available over a four-year period and will see substantial on-ground works, including 80 kilometres of fencing, 163 hectares of weed control and community engagement activities.

Mr Walsh said a further 22.3 gigalitres of environmental water would be allocated to improve the health of the river.

“The Victorian Government recognises the Campaspe River has suffered throughout the drought and floods, and that has had a serious impact on the local community,” Mr Walsh said.

“This river is a high-value system sustaining many species of flora and fauna, as well as an important community asset supporting recreational activities, but it is currently flow-stressed.

“It is very pleasing to today announce both the start of the Caring for the Campaspe project as well as the significant boost to the river’s water entitlements held by the Victorian Environmental Water Holder.

“Together, these projects will go a long way towards giving the river the best chance to get back to full health.”

Mr Walsh said the additional 22.3 gigalitres would come from the GMW Connections Project as a result of the decommissioning of the Campaspe Irrigation District.

“This additional water combined with existing entitlements held by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder on behalf of the Living Murray will bring the total amount of water available to the Campaspe River to more than 31 gigalitres,” Mr Walsh said.

“This will fully meet the local water requirements under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.”

Mr Walsh said the Caring for the Campaspe project was the first large scale on-ground works project for the river to protect and enhance its important riparian vegetation.

The project will be led by the North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and funded by the Victorian Government’sSecuring Priority Waterways program.