Water

Irrigation funding agenda

By Jamieson Salter

A new draft discussion paper provides irrigation farmers in the Loddon and Campaspe regions with an opportunity to shape future government funding opportunities.

The Draft Land and Water Management Plan discussion paper was developed by North Central Catchment Management Authority to gather community feedback for the finalisation of the plan.

North Central CMA's sustainable agriculture manager Mandy Coulson said the discussion paper aimed to support local communities and keep irrigators on the land.

“This plan applies to all irrigation in the North Central CMA region and to dry-land that retains an irrigation water use licence,” Ms Coulson said.

“It determines priorities for investing in works and measures in the irrigation region for a range of investors and sets the framework to ensure public funds are targeted to actions that align with Victorian Government and local priorities.

“The paper’s vision over the next 10 years is about using water for healthy, productive, sustainable, irrigated food and fibre.

“Practically, this means protecting and increasing the $800 million of gross value of irrigated agricultural production at the farm gate produced by 1386 irrigated farm businesses, the health of 24 892 km of waterways and 120 significant wetlands and the high-value birds, fish, plants and animals that are influenced by farm practice,” Ms Coulson said.

Farmers and irrigation community members can provide input on the draft discussion paper via an online survey or at two drop-in days.

“We’ll hold sessions at the Swan Hill Information Centre on Tuesday, January 14 and the Cohuna Community Co on Wednesday, January 15,” Ms Coulson said.

For the survey and project details visit: www.nccma.vic.gov.au or phone 03 5448 1807.