Victoria pushes for Basin infrastructure
The Victorian Government has reiterated its push for more investment in the Victoria under the Basin Plan, with Victorian Water Minister Peter Walsh demanding more funding to invest in priority environmental infrastructure works.
"If Julia Gillard is serious about a commitment to communities and jobs in the Basin, she must use the money set aside for water purchases to invest in these projects," Mr Walsh said.
"These works will achieve the same environmental outcomes using far less water than that required to raise river levels and create overbank flows as proposed by the Basin Plan.
"They will also leave more water for agriculture, which underwrites the long-term future of communities in northern Victoria and the state's food security."
The list of works Victoria has outlined, which has been submitted to the Commonwealth, includes:
- $40 million to install regulators at Lindsay Island to water about 5,000ha of floodplain;
- $11 million to install regulators at Wallpolla Island floodplain, just upstream of Lindsay Island, to target about 1,000ha of river redgum and wetlands and about 50km of creeks;
- $105 million for acquire flood easements along the Goulburn River to enable the delivery of environmental water and further investigation into what would be required along the Loddon, Campaspe and Murray rivers;
- $10 million to water the upper Gunbower Forest, providing water mainly to black box communities which are at higher elevation than river redgum;
- $3 million to extend the Living Murray Hattah Lakes project to water between 500ha and 100ha of wetlands, including black box and river red gums;
- Up to $140 million to connect the big icon site projects by watering river redgum floodplain and wetlands at a number of sites including Guttram-Benwell Forests, Nyah-Vinifera Park, and Burra Creek; and $10 million to complete fishway projects across northern Victoria, including the Living Murray Gunbower project.