Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s new drainage proposal has been discussed with Harston landholders, with about 30 people attending the information session held at Harston Hall last week.
Goulburn Broken CMA sustainable irrigation manager Carl Walters said it was a positive response overall.
‘‘It was reasonably acceptable to most people who came along,’’ Mr Walters said.
‘‘Most people are reasonably comfortable and it was a good opportunity for us to sit down with farmers and talk it through.’’
The authority has secured funding from the Victorian Government for the proposal, which will seek to improve surface water drainage in the area which has been identified as a priority in the Shepparton Irrigation Region Drainage Strategy.
The community has previously flagged poor natural drainage, waterlogging and a rising watertable as concerns for the region and risks to the area’s agricultural land, environmental values and road infrastructure.
Mr Walters said due to changes to climate, the irrigation footprint and land use over the past decade it was important to carefully consider a scheme that was cost effective to implement.
‘‘We are proposing a new and innovative approach to surface water drainage that makes best use of existing features including natural depressions, infrastructure and environmental features.’’
Mr Walters said there would be further consultation with the community moving forward.
‘‘Over the next few weeks we’ll get Goulburn-Murray Water and some other consultants to go talk about the plan with property landholders one-on-one.’’
He said the feedback from landholders would be used to address concerns with the plan and fine tune it moving forward, with a view towards finalising planning and beginning work mid-2018.
Following the finalisation of the plan, it will then be taken back to the community.
‘‘Once we work out what we need to do we’ll be going back to the community with a bit more concrete solution,’’ Mr Walters said.
‘‘We’ve got four other catchments we’re looking at and it will be a similar approach.’’