Water

Connections at work in Swan Hill

By Country News

More than 10km of channel has been decommissioned and the Little Murray Weir lowered as part of recently completed Swan Hill Woorinen Rd and McCallum St.

Part of the Connections project, the work has seen the No.9 channel through Swan hill decommissioned, the installation of pump stations and pipeline and the automation of Fish Point Weir.

Connections project director Frank Fisseler said the significant project had created many long-term benefits.

‘‘The works have been extensive and are expected to provide future generations with significant environmental, operational and social benefits,’’ he said.

Mr Fisseler said as well as improving safety by decommissioning 10km of channel through the built-up urban area of Swan Hill, the project had contributed to the water saving targets.

The automation of Fish Point Weir will mean an 80km stretch of the Little Murray River can now receive flows closer to the river’s natural watering regime.

The weir can now remain open to allow fish to move along the river, where previously it was often closed.

Native fish species, including freshwater catfish, Murray cod and golden perch are also set to benefit, particularly large-bodied species through the installation of vertical slot fishways that help to provide year-round fish movement to and from the Murray River and also into the Loddon River upstream.

‘‘A special thank-you must go to the community. Extensive community consultation was carried out on this project from concept to construction, ensuring the Swan Hill community’s needs were prioritised alongside water savings, the environment and safety,’’ Mr Fisseler said.

‘‘This was a complex program of works but the result is a fit-for-purpose irrigation system with lasting benefits for future generations of landowners, irrigators, the community and environment.’’