The Swan Hill Modernisation Project is now complete and has transformed the town’s irrigation system into a world class service to meet the needs of our valuable agricultural region.
The Project has seen extensive works undertaken since 2012, including the decommissioning of the No.9 Channel through Swan Hill, installation of pump stations and pipeline,automation of Fish Point Weir and lowering of Little Murray Weir.
Connections Project Director, Frank Fisseler, said the Swan Hill Modernisation Project is a significant Special Project, which is part of the $2 billion Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) Connections Project and has created many, long-term benefits.
“The works have been extensive and are expected to provide future generations with significant environmental, operational and social benefits,” he said.
“The Connections Project team is proud to be part of such a historic upgrade, which is important to the long-term future of the region’s farms.
“Thank you to Swan Hill Rural City Council, Lower Murray Water, VicRoads, GMW Torrumbarry operations, the North Central Catchment Management Authority and many community members for your involvement and support for the Project – it wouldn’t have been possible without you.”
Mr Fisseler also thanked contractors Ward Bros for their hard work to ensure that the project was delivered on time and on budget whilst continuing to work closely with the local community.
Mr Fisseler said as well as improving safety, by decommissioning 10 km of channel through the built-up urban area of Swan Hill, the Project has contributed to the water saving targets.
The Project has also benefitted the environment through the automation of Fish Point Weir,meaning an 80 km stretch of the Little Murray River can now receive flows closer to the river’s natural watering regime. The Weir can now remain open to allow fish to move along the river, where previously it was often closed.
Native fish species, including Freshwater catfish, Murray cod and Golden perch are also set to benefit, particularly large-bodied species through the installation of vertical slot fishways that help to provide year-round fish movement to and from the Murray River and also into the Loddon River upstream.
“A special thank you must go to the community. Extensive community consultation was carried out on this Project, from concept to construction ensuring the Swan Hill community’s needs were prioritised alongside water savings, the environment and safety,” Mr Fisseler said.
“This was a complex program of works but the result is a fit-for-purpose irrigation system with lasting benefits for future generations of landowners, irrigators, the community and environment.”
The Swan Hill Modernisation Project is part of the Connections Project; a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our region. The $2 billion investment – by the Victorian and Australian Governments – is revitalising the region, maintaining environmental values and helping to create an irrigation system that is second-to-none in the world.
Decommissioned about 10 km of channel from Werril St to Karinie St in Swan Hill.
Installed a northern pump station and 3.54km pipeline.
Installed a southern pump station and 4.59km pipeline.
Upgraded Fish Point Weir to an automated system.
Lowered Little Murray Weir.
Installed native fish passages at two locations on the Little Murray River.
Converted the No.9 channel off-take from Little Murray Weir to a pump station.
Upgraded No.10 Pump Station.
Built an interconnector between No.9 and No 10 channels north of Swan Hill.
Rochester civil construction company Ward Bros Earthmoving undertook the project works to decommission the No.9 Channel.