LANDSBOROUGH - Around sixty jobs have been secured in the Landsborough district, after the state government announced it would make a significant investment into the region.
The government has injected $1.95 million from its Regional Growth Fund to provide a reliable water supply to six vineyards in the Landsborough Valley.
Representing Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan in Landsborough last week, Minister for Water Peter Walsh said access to a reliable water supply was critical for winegrape growers.
"The Landsborough Valley, about 30 kilometres east of Stawell, is renowned as a premium red wine-growing area producing around $7 million worth of wine," Mr Walsh said.
"During drought or dry periods, the vineyards have had insufficient water to maintain production, leading to deferred investments, job insecurity, and reduced yield.
"Access to a reliable water supply is critical because it helps growers achieve a consistent grape quantity and quality, enabling supply volumes to be guaranteed. It also provides the confidence to proceed with planned investments, secure long-term supply contracts and increase exports.
"Thanks to water savings generated by the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline, six vineyards owned by four participating vignerons - Glenkara Estate, M. Chapoutier Australia, Conter and Malakoff Estate - will have access to a reliable and secure water supply.
"A 25.5 kilometre water main will be constructed from Stawell to Glenkara Estate Vineyard, along with pump stations at Stawell and Joel South. The four participating vignerons will then manage the works to each connect to the water supply."
Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner said this would secure jobs at the vineyards and create new direct and indirect jobs.
"The project will also provide public benefits through the provision of Country Fire Authority (CFA) fire-fighting plugs and the ability to support farmers along the pipeline by providing access to water for general stock and domestic purposes," Mr Turner said.
"The Regional Growth Fund is investing in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria. In Pyrenees Shire, the Regional Growth Fund has provided $14.9 million to 29 projects, leveraging $28.6 million in total investment."
The Landsborough Valley project is also being funded by $2.2 million from Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water, while the four vignerons will contribute a total of around $900,000.