WIMMERA Irrigators Association and GWMWater will begin distributing letters to association members today seeking support for the Federal Government’s offer to buy irrigation water.

The association and GWMWater representatives met on Thursday night to discuss the government’s offer to buy 28,000 megalitres of water at $900 a megalitre.

The government will also pay for the decommissioning of all irrigation channels in the Wimmera Irrigation Area.

The association submitted an irrigator-led group proposal to sell the water to the Federal Government’s Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities last year.

Association chairman Dale Frankel said about 150 people attended the information night at Glen Logan Restaurant in Horsham.

“It was an information night to discuss the progress of the proposal and explain the offer,” he said.

“We also explained the conditions on the offer, which GWMWater has met.

“We planned for about 105. It was a crowded room and there was a lot of interest.”

Mr Frankel said independent valuer Phillip Graham explained the value of the sale.

“We are looking at a very reasonable offer,” Mr Frankel said.

“The mood after the night was of confidence for the proposal to finally be ratified.

“A letter will go out to irrigators today explaining the situation and asking for their support.”

Mr Frankel said the government department had asked for 100 per cent participation from irrigators.

“Any queries that were brought up from the irrigator community when the original ballot went out have been attended to,” he said.

Last year the association sent ballots to irrigators to ask whether they supported the water sale, with three voting no.

“I do expect we will get full support now that we have an offer on the table,” Mr Frankel said.

Mr Frankel said July 20 was the deadline for irrigators’ responses.

“That gives people time to query things with GWMWater, the association or their accountants if need be,” he said.

“We only have to wrap up the paperwork and GWMWater has to go through the process of a deed of surrender for the water to cover legal implications.”

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