The Victorian Coalition Government is investing more than $66 million over the next four years with a responsible and necessary approach to improving water management in Victoria.
Water Minister Peter Walsh said the funding would establish Victoria as a world leader in liveable cities, improve the environmental health of Victorian waterways and provide mechanisms to understand and manage water resources.
“We can better manage essential water services if we have a better understanding of our water resources all over the state,” Mr Walsh said.
“Over the next four years $50.4 million will be invested to improve water resource measurement and management,” Mr Walsh said.
“This money will be used to improve surface water monitoring and data management, groundwater monitoring through the State Observation Bore Network, the Victorian water register and integrated water analysis and reporting.
“Importantly funds will be used to manage potential risks to water availability to minimise the impacts of future droughts.
“This Budget sets out a clear plan to meet our challenges and position Victoria to take full advantage of current and future opportunities.
“The money also goes towards streamlining, improving processes and cutting red tape by simplifying the Bulk Water Entitlements Framework,” Mr Walsh said.
The Victorian Coalition Government will also invest $7.25 million to review Victoria’s water legislation and co-ordinate activities under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
“The Coalition Government is committed to making sure Victoria’s interests are protected in the ongoing development of a Murray-Darling Basin Plan,” Mr Walsh said.
“This money will provide support and co-ordination to enable a transition to any future plan.
“The Government will also work towards developing a streamlined Water Act that provides for integrated and sustainable water resource management and use in Victoria and gives effect to the Coalition Government’s water policies such as Living Victoria.
“We will spend $8.7 million to improve water security for food producers while balancing the needs of the environment.
“This will be done through improving integrity in water savings assessment and management, providing incentives to irrigators to complete property management planning and, for those eligible, upgrade on-farm systems to improve water use,” Mr Walsh said.
This funding is in addition to the $103 million investment by the government in improved environmental health of our waterways through volunteers, on-ground works and the management and delivery of environmental entitlements.