On 19 May 2020, Minister Neville announced $10.4m in funding to complete modernisation of the Macalister Irrigation District (MID). This $62.6 million project will see the completion of modernisation works across the MID envisaged by the MID2030 Strategy, developed in 2007 by Southern Rural Water (SRW) in consultation with its customers.

MID Phase 2 is targeting infrastructure that are 60 to 100 years old and present a major constraint to water supply and contemporary farming practices. The project will provide climate and drought resilience through generating water savings and builds on the benefits from the completed MID Phase 1A and Phase 1B projects. MID Phase 2 is a program of works which consists of:

  • Piping the Newry sub-system
  • Completing modernisation of remaining channel sub systems through a combination of piping and automation
  • Undertaking channel, outlet and associated asset rationalisation and modernisation, and
  • Upgrading high use water outlets to modern, compliant outlets.


The DELWP Rural Water Projects team has a governance oversight role in the delivery of the project. Southern Rural Water are delivering the project including management of on-ground construction.

EC5 Expenditure to date

Program Title (EC5)

2020-21 Expenditure $’000



Macalister Irrigation District (MID) Modernisation Project - Phase 2




Macalister Irrigation District (MID) Modernisation Project - Phase 2




Summary of progress in Year 1 of EC5:

The MID Phase 2 project commenced in 2020 and it is expected to be completed in 2024. MID Phase 2 is a program of works consisting of piping the Newry sub system; completing modernisation of remaining channel sub systems through a combination of piping and automation; undertaking channel, outlet and associated asset rationalisation and modernisation; and upgrading high use water outlets to modern, compliant outlets. The $62.6 million MID Phase 2 project is funded by the State of Victoria ($10.43 million), the Australian Government ($31.3 million) and the remainder by Southern Rural Water and its customers. The Australian Government contribution was secured in September 2020 through the variation to the bilateral schedule for the National Partnership Agreement for the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund – Capital Component.

The project has achieved its first three milestones, including completing over 10 km of channel modernisation in the Stratford supply channel system. These modernisation works include the replacement of manual regulators with automated flume gate regulators, vegetation and regrowth trimming or removal allowing for improved channel performance, channel desilting and commissioning for automated water delivery to customers.

Other key activities that have been progressed in this period include the completion of environmental and cultural heritage surveys and required planning approvals processes. The detailed design for the remaining works has been progressed, in conjunction with continued customer engagement on modernisation agreements and on-farm planning to inform optimal design outcomes.

Page last updated: 16/09/21