The key features of the Reset Delivery Plan are: 1. A publically available channel by channel assessment, involving local input. A key part of this is a new web portal to where landowners can view the details and status of their works. 2. A new engagement model with clear steps outlined and communicated. This includes an independent review process and creates timeframes to ensure agreements are reached quickly to benefit all landowners. 3. An improved procurement methodology for contracting work that will ensure value-for-money at a system and landowner level. It means we’re buying smarter, saving money and more irrigators will benefit; and 4. Use of statutory reconfiguration plans. This ensures work on this important project can progress as quickly as possible. Importantly this reset delivery plan is based on a channel-by-channel approach. For landowners this means less delays because works don’t rely on agreements being reached with large groups and it means more channels can be modernised.
Option 4 was the project preferred reset delivery approach presented as part of the community consultation program in June 2016. It was also referred to as the 'efficiency optimisation approach'.
Option 4 consists of a mix of:
• Channel decommissioning
• Channel remediation
• Automation of regulators
• Meter replacement
• Leave as is
Moving ahead with Option 4 relies on input from landowners, GMW regional staff, the project's central planning unit to determine the best fit-for-purpose mix of the above measures. The improved planning approach of Option 4 means that an efficient system will be delivered to all water users at less cost.
Fit-for-purpose in the context of the Connections Project means that we focus on what is appropriate for the particular circumstances, rather than installing surplus or oversized meters that will not be used.
Option 4 was adopted after customer consultation because it was seen by customers as a practical common sense approach.
The community consultation sessions in June 2016 were an important opportunity to hear from irrigators.
The report (compiled by Tim Cummins and Associates) shows landowners strongly supported Option 4. It was considered the best way forward to complete the Connections Project and create a sustainable future for irrigators, communities and the region in Northern Victoria.
The Reset Delivery Plan was developed based on Option 4 being the preferred option.
Implementation of a new landowner engagement model is a key element to successful project delivery and the project team is targeting to reduce the time taken to reach landowner agreements.
The new landowner engagement model will be used for all future landowner interactions. It provides genuine engagement with landowners within structured timelines to enable the project to be efficiently delivered for the benefit of all landowners and stakeholders.
The model incorporates a number of checks and balances including access to independent review, the landowner submission process and allowance of ‘a reasonable time’ to reach agreement.
The new model for landowner engagement is based on the following principles:
• No surprises – communication of the landowner engagement approach with landowners in an upfront and easy to understand way
• Integration of tools - statutory reconfiguration and other tools are a part of the approach and are incorporated into the engagement model, and
• Guidance – landowners will be provided with information and guidance throughout the engagement process.
The Reset Delivery Plan improves the method for contracting work to ensure value-for-money at a system and landowner level.
Works will be packaged into large work programs that make the most of scale activities, type of works and location. It has already sought the private sector’s help in identifying innovative approaches.
For landowners it means we’re buying smarter, saving money and more irrigators will benefit.
No. Under the Reset Delivery Plan, the Connections Project (the Project) will successfully deliver a water efficient system for all water users by reducing the amount of water required to operate the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District.
While the Project will be now delivered by 31 October 2020, delivering a channel-by-channel approach (Option 4 / Efficiency Optimisation Solution) means a value-for-money and fit-for-purpose water delivery system can be achieved within the remaining budget. The improved procurement approach will also provide better value-for-money outcomes.
The consumptive pool will not be affected by the Connections Project. All water savings claimed by the Connections Project are derived from reducing water loss through infrastructure upgrades.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning closely monitor the water in the consumptive pool, seasonal allocations and the water savings accumulated by the Connections Project to ensure water for irrigation is not adversely affected.
GMW will honour executed landowner agreements that are consistent with these principles or where contractual obligations exist. Contractual arrangements can be withdrawn where mutual agreement has been reached with the landowner.
A new web portal has also been launched that allows irrigators to view the details and status of work for their respective channel.
The portal is regularly updated, which means any landowner is able to log on and get up to date information about the assessment process and timeframes associated with the proposed work.
The GMID as a whole will benefit. The Connections Project is a public infrastructure project, benefitting all irrigators through better service and whole-of-life costs compared with doing nothing.
The Victorian Government will be able to meet its obligations of delivering water savings for the Murray Darling Basin Plan without losing productive water.
The Project has prioritised works on the basis of value-for-money, volume of water savings, commercial factors, complexity and procurement requirements.
The scope of works has been developed within a defined set of parameters. Changes will only be made to the basis of local channel assessments and within clear parameters and rules, namely:
• Verification of initial assumptions made on a channel
• within budget allowances, and
• which do not impact timeframes for delivery.