Grants and awards Environment and Water | April 06, 2016

Kealy holds Labor to account for pipeline studies

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP has successfully held the State Government to account for their commitments made to fund ‘winning ideas’ through the their OurSay project.

“The announcement made today to fund a feasibility study for extension of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline into the West Wimmera and Ararat Rural City areas is a step in the right direction for our drought affected region,” Ms Kealy said.

“I have met with many local residents and farmers along the Glenelg River, east of the Grampians and across the West Wimmera to hear their concerns and ideas to improve access to a reliable water supply. While it’s great that we now have funding for pipeline feasibility studies, we desperately need infrastructure funding to future proof these areas against drought.

“I have spoken in Parliament and written directly to the Premier and other relevant Ministers calling for funding to investigate pipeline extensions to both the areas south of Ararat and the West Wimmera,” she said.

It has been almost a year since the Premier himself made a commitment at a Rural Press Club Victoria luncheon to look at supplying water for Lake Wallace and to work through any cost issues.

“I have extensively lobbied the Premier for almost 12 months to hold him to account and to support this commitment made to local people who have not seen usable water in Lake Wallace for many years,” Ms Kealy said.

A community proposal to extend a water pipeline to Harrow, Edenhope and Apsley become a 'winning idea' through the Government’s OurSay project, to allocate $10 million in drought relief funds.

“The West Wimmera pipeline proposal attracted overwhelming support from Victorians, gaining a whopping 5,182 votes in less than a week,” Ms Kealy said.

“I commend the Friends of Lake Wallace Committee for their passion and energy that they have shown for this project to drought-proof the region," she said.

The winning idea, lodged by Trevor Domaschenz of Friends of Lake Wallace, included securing a potable water supply to the region. A secure water supply would also improve water access to farmers with stock and give consideration of environmental, recreational and social health and wellbeing impacts.

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