Pipeline section in the Macalister Irrigation District modernisation project has been completed ahead of irrigation season.

Construction of a transition structure, stage four. Photo: Southern Rural Water

Construction of a transition structure, stage four. Photo: Southern Rural Water

A PIPELINE section in the Macalister Irrigation District modernisation project has been completed just in time for the beginning of the irrigation season.

The MID's modernised and automated outlets will make irrigation easier and more efficient for farmers, particularly now a pipeline has replaced channels in Tinamba and Mewburn Park areas.

The benefits for farmers from the overall project include less time being needed to manage irrigation practices; more efficient use of water for better production; opportunities to improve how and when they irrigate; better work-life balance; and fewer safety and maintenance issues because of outdated infrastructure.

Investment in modernisation has provided an influx of work and skills development for local contractors.

Many farmers are planning additional investment, which has led to the growth of local irrigation and engineering companies.

There has also been increased trade for retail businesses and suppliers.

This project has been made possible by more than $60 million provided by state and federal governments and Southern Rural Water customers.

This program has been implemented by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Agriculture Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Farmers have also had strong planning and grant support from the state government's Sustainable Irrigation Program to make the most of modernisation, such as the purchase of pivot sprays to improve production with less water.

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