Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Mark Butler MP

Minister for Climate Change
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Water

The Hon Julie Katrina Hodgkinson

NSW Minister for Primary Industry

Koondrook–Perricoota Forest flood enhancement project complete

Joint media release
24 July 2013

An $80 million project to deliver environmental water to more than 17,000 hectares of forest has been completed, Federal Minister for Water Mark Butler and NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson announced today.

The Koondrook–Perricoota Forest project is part of the Environmental Works and Measures Program, funded jointly by the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian and ACT Governments under The Living Murray program.

Ms Hodgkinson today officially commissioned the works at Torrumbarry today and was joined by local members Sussan Ley and John Williams.

Mr Butler commended the many agencies and community groups who had contributed to the project.

“This is the largest major work to be completed under The Living Murray Environmental Works and Measures Program,” Mr Butler said.

“It’s been made possible by the significant investment and effort of successive governments and is a good example of what can be achieved through collaboration.

“It’s also another important step in the Federal Government’s water reform efforts to restore the health of the River Murray.”

The project has been managed by the NSW Office of Water with significant contributions from State and Commonwealth agencies, indigenous groups and local community organisations.

NSW State Water Corporation project managed the construction of works.

This major infrastructure project, located on the River Murray between Echuca/Moama and Barham, involves a series of channels and regulators built to efficiently deliver environmental water entitlements to water more than 17,000 hectares of forest.

The project has included the construction of a 3.8-kilometre inlet channel and a 43-kilometre series of levees and control regulators to enable water to be diverted into the creek system that feeds and drains the forest while protecting the surrounding farm land from artificial flooding.

“Projects such as this use infrastructure to efficiently direct water to meet environmental outcomes while providing economic and social outcomes to local communities during the construction phase,” Ms Hodgkinson said. 

“Water from Torrumbarry weir pool will be directed into natural flood runners within the 33,000 hectare forest with up to 52 per cent or 17,000 hectares of forests being able to be inundated before water is returned to the River Murray system.

“This enables the water to be reused for other purposes further downstream.”

With the works now complete, commissioning trials are set to get underway in the near future to test the structures and processes before becoming operational.

Over 110 regional people, including 60 indigenous people were employed during the construction stage of the project, which provided training opportunities as well as employment.

“The NSW Government is leading the way in the design and construction of infrastructure projects that provide environmental benefits and water savings without taking water away from food and fibre production.”

This is the type of project that NSW supports as it provides triple bottom line outcomes for regional communities.

“In the past six years NSW, has completed a number of major infrastructure projects in the southern Murray Darling Basin including the Darling Anabranch water supply pipeline, wetland rehabilitation works along the Edward River, reconfiguration of the Barren Box Swamp and the upgrade of the Buronga Salt Interception Scheme.

Additional information

State Water Corporation, Forest Corporation NSW and the Murray–Darling Basin Authority have worked with the Murray CMA, Joint Indigenous Group consisting of Yorta Yorta, Barapa Barapa Nations and Moama Land Council, NSW Fisheries, the Community Operational, Planning and Advisory Committee, and the Office of Environment and Heritage, to complete this project.

The principal construction contractor was Fulton Hogan Australia.

160 local people were employed and or received training during the project.

This includes:

  • 32 Senior First Aid;
  • 32 White card;
  • 20 Graduated TAFE Cert ’III in Land & Conservation Management;
  • 10 Graduated TAFE Cert’ IV in Land & Conservation Management;
  • 10 Graduated Pest/weed Management;
  • 10 4WD accreditation;
  • 6 Articulated dump truck ticket (self-funded) and;
  • 4 Environmental green card.