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Water

Irrigation modernisation helps investment

Future-proofing: The modernised Goulburn Murray Irrigation District, created by the $2 billion Foodbowl Modernisation Project, is one of the key reasons investors are favouring the region, Northern Victorian Irrigators former president Dudley Bryant says. Photo by Geoff Adams

Pension funds and investment managers are taking advantage of favourable conditions in northern Victoria to develop farming properties.

The companies are investing millions of dollars in aggregating and upgrading under-performing farms.

One of the reasons given for favouring agriculture in the region is the opportunity to tap into a modernised, automated irrigation system in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District, created by the $2 billion Foodbowl Modernisation Project, more recently known as G-MW Connections.

Northern Victorian Irrigators former president Dudley Bryant said it was gratifying to see that the project the organisation had supported was now paying off for the region in a big way.

“Before Foodbowl Modernisation we had a system that was broken down, clogged up and lacking in maintenance.

“Farmers were lasering their properties but couldn’t get a reliable, on-time water delivery.”

The NVI supported the Modernisation Project which included a promise to have irrigators share in 75 Gl of water savings, in return for allowing Melbourne consumers to have access to water from Lake Eildon via the Sugarloaf pipeline. For a variety of reasons the pipeline was hardly used.

Irrigators in Goulburn Murray Irrigation District last month received their share of the 75 Gl of water saved in the Foodbowl project.

Irrigators received a water distribution or cash payments with a value of about $300 million.