Nationals Member for Mildura, Jade Benham this week asked that the Minister commit to formally reinstate the allocation of recreational water to the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline.
Supplied waterbodies (Wimmera Mallee Lakes Alliance) must have access to the high security level which was committed and agreed during the commissioning of the pipeline.
The Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project was one of the largest infrastructure projects in Australia, replacing 17,500 kilometres of inefficient open irrigation channels with 9,159 kilometres of pipeline.
Both the Federal and State Governments endorsed an allocation of recreational water to be delivered as a high security of supply to the Wimmera Mallee Lakes Alliance.
“The lack of open water throughout the area means they’re (the lakes) a huge part of the communities and bodies of water such as these lakes have an incredible amount of social and environmental benefits.
“I recognise the importance of recreational water – the positive environmental, physical and economic benefits it can have,” said Ms Benham.
“We have seen firsthand how the construction of Ouyen Lake increases the mental health outcomes of an entire community, whether it’s for exercise participation, volunteering, or just being near water. The Murrayville Wetlands will do the same thing in an area that otherwise wouldn’t have a scenic body of water to enjoy by both residents and the abundant bird and native wildlife.
The Government must commit to a permanent and reliable supply, as the 3000 megalitres the lakes currently rely on is low reliability water.