A $25.2-MILLION deal to sell Wimmera irrigation water hinges on approval by 12 irrigators.
Nanjing Night Net

GWMWater’s Andrew Rose said 217 of 218 irrigators had received letters asking them to back the offer.

He said 12 irrigators were yet to accept the Federal Government’s offer of $900 a megalitre.

Wimmera Irrigators Association submitted an irrigator-led group proposal to sell 28,000 megalitres to the government’s Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities last year.

Despite irrigators being given a July 1 deadline to respond to the letters, Mr Rose said the authority and the irrigators association were working to finalise the sale.

The offer needs 100 per cent irrigator approval to go ahead.

Mr Rose said he was confident all responses would be received before the Federal Government’s July 20 deadline.

“We received more letters in the post today. In some cases we are dealing with companies which need board meetings to give their approval, some are deceased estates and some are changes of address,” he said.

“There is one irrigator in a remote location who has not collected the registered post letter.

“So far every one of the responses has been in favour of the sale. There are just a few minor issues that we need to work through to get it done.”

Mr Rose said the $25.2-million sale would be a massive financial injection for the Wimmera.

Among the 218 irrigators is Horsham Golf Club which would receive $135,000 as part of the deal.

Wimmera Irrigators Association chairman Dale Frankel said he was anxiously waiting for the final responses to be collected.

“We have been working with GWMWater to help collect responses,” he said.

“We have had to find irrigators from as far away as Darwin and Broome, even England.

“There is such a confident air about what is happening. There is no-one we can see who is opposed to the sale.

“I have come to realise that even though things have been happening quickly in the past few months, the bureaucratic process takes time to make sure every detail is correct.”

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