Back to the drawing board

By Geoff Adams on July 07, 2017
  • Back to the drawing board

    The government recently announced it would be developing a new Goulburn River constraints project.

An expensive environmental water investigation more than two years in the making has been abandoned by the Victorian Government.

The government recently announced it would be developing a new Goulburn River constraints project.

The project would have generated ways of using environmental water more efficiently and would have resulted in less water being diverted from consumptive users.

The Victorian Government said it would develop a new Goulburn constraints project that must be accepted by the community, be feasible and be based on improved data and on-the-ground knowledge.

Federal and state government ministers agreed to the development of a new plan at the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council meeting in Canberra on June 16.

Victoria reiterated its position that any constraints project will not flood private property without consent, nor require compulsory land acquisitions.

Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville said Victoria had long raised concerns about the Goulburn constraints program as a supply measure.

‘‘The business case suggests it would cost more than $140million, affect about 500 properties and only save around 4Gl of water,’’ Ms Neville said.

‘‘Victoria has a long-held view that no land will be forcibly flooded and there is unlikely to be consensus among 500 landowners.

‘‘Given the small benefits compared with the significant impact on communities, this is a sensible outcome and one that local communities have welcomed.’’

Yea landholder Jan Beer welcomed the news the project was being scrapped as she said it was clear from early on that the government wouldn’t be getting the required savings without forcing flooding of many properties along the river.

‘‘We’ve been telling them that forever,’’ she said.

Ms Beer said the proposal had too much risk for landholders.

By Geoff Adams on July 07, 2017

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