GWMWater will continue to finalise the process for the sale of 28,000 megalitres of Wimmera irrigation water to the Federal Government.
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The government has offered to buy the water at $900 a megalitre and will also pay for the decommissioning of all irrigation channels in the Wimmera Irrigation Area.

Wimmera Irrigators Association submitted an irrigator-led group proposal to sell the water to the government’s Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities last year.

The department had asked for full participation from irrigators.

The association and GWMWater began distributing letters to association members on Monday last week to seek support for the offer.

GWMWater’s Andrew Rose said it had taken a lot of diligent effort by many people to get to this stage.

“We should not underestimate the work in particular of the association executive,” he said.

“The letters outline how many megalitres are allocated to them and how much they can expect to get once the money arrives from the Federal Government.

“In 95 per cent of cases that is going to be pretty simple but over time there have been some changes in the way people have structured their enterprises.”

Mr Rose said one of the conditions was that the authority had to sign a new supply-by-agreement, which would happen once the irrigators had approved the offer.

“We have to secure 100 per cent support from irrigators and the rest of the offer conditions are pretty well administrative,” he said.

“We are going to have to do some work with the project delivery agreement for the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline between the state and federal governments and GWMWater to include the decommissioning of irrigation channels.”

Mr Rose said there would be no charges or exit fees deducted from the $900 a megalitre on offer.

“Through the original ballot process there was some concern by a few irrigators who were not totally supportive of the sale,” he said.

“We understand they might have been concerned there would be money deducted from the $900 a megalitre by GWMWater.

“There will be no levy charged by us on the $900 nor any levies or exit fees by the state or federal governments.”

Mr Rose said the decommissioning of the irrigation network was based on full restitution of channels pre-irrigation.

He said fences or roads damaged during the decommissioning process would be restored to their original condition.

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