Thousands of people across central north-west Victoria now have reliable stock and domestic water supply with the completion of the South West Loddon Pipeline project.

The newly completed pipeline provides secure reticulated water supply to more than 1,500 rural properties over 2,900 square kilometres surrounding Inglewood, Newbridge, St Arnaud and Wedderburn, for the first time.

Minister for Water Lisa Neville and Premier Daniel Andrews visited the then drought hit region in 2015 and met with communities to discuss what support was needed, including secure water supply for the south-west Loddon region. The next year they returned to announce $40 million towards the landmark $88.9 million project.

The project is helping communities who have battled severe drought in recent years, and the impacts of climate change, by significantly increasing the region’s water security.

A secure water supply for the South West Loddon area will deliver economic benefits for the surrounding communities by supporting activity and employment in the local farming and intensive livestock sectors.

The project reduces the regions reliance on water carting during dry times supporting the agricultural sector that underpins the viability of the area.

The completion of the 1,300-kilometre South West Loddon Pipeline is another landmark in delivering the Victorian Government’s Water for Victoria plan.

The project also improves regional water resource management by interconnecting the Wimmera-Glenelg system with the Goulburn system, helping to boost the agricultural sector that underpins the area’s economic growth.

The $88.9 million project was jointly funded by the Victorian Government ($40 million), Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water and landowners ($28.9 million) and Australian Government ($20 million).

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville:

“I’m proud to have delivered this significant project for the community, with the pipeline providing water security to the region for the first time ever.”

“The completion of the pipeline is a major milestone. I thank local Farmers Federal members and everyone in the community who advocated for the project and worked with us to deliver it – it will bring big benefits for the region.”

“This project will provide water security for farmers and the agriculture sector – which is good for the wellbeing of agriculture communities, for jobs and for livability.”