The Victorian government is offering incentives to irrigators in Northern Victoria to look at more efficient on-farm methods for irrigation that save water.
Minister for Water Lisa Neville visited Owen Lloyd’s dried fruit farm in Mildura to announce the $400,000 Mallee Irrigation Incentive program, which offers financial assistance to improve irrigation scheduling, system upgrades, skills development and planning at the farm level.
“These incentives will provide some welcome relief for irrigators, helping them to save water and improve on-farm water management,” she said.
“We’ll continue to support our irrigators in Northern Victoria because we know that agriculture and food production relies on consistent and reliable water and irrigation systems.
“Improving and upgrading irrigation practices is good news for our farming communities and irrigators, and good for the environment,” said Neville.
Lloyd’s property received a 50 per cent incentive to upgrade his irrigation scheduling equipment, and is one of 47 properties in the Mallee that will receive incentives through the program.
The program will encourage better water management on-farm through improved irrigation systems and management – to bring improved farm production, while minimising impacts on the environment.
This program has significant environmental benefits but doesn’t involve the transfer of water entitlement from the farm and is part of the government’s commitment to the Murray Darling basin plan.
It aims to reduce salinity, improve water use efficiency, reduce pollution from drainage water and reduce any offsite impact on vegetation and biodiversity.
The Mallee’s success in supporting large-scale investment in irrigation while maintaining river salinity levels is the result of a partnership approach between regional agencies and a clear irrigation development process.
Victoria continues to prioritise salinity management to safeguard the region’s future through works being carried out by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), and Lower Murray Water.
The Mallee irrigation incentive program is funded through DELWP and the irrigator salinity offset levies administered by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority.