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 Project is now complete - on time and budget

Construction is now finished on the biggest infrastructure upgrade in Sunraysia’s irrigation history.

The $120 million Sunraysia Modernisation

Project (SMP) began in early 2014 and has this month been completed on time and on budget. On 21 September 2016, Assistant

Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Luke Harsuyker officially opened the SMP.

Funded with $103 million from the Federal Government and $17 million from Lower Murray Water’s capital works budget, the SMP’s aim was to improve the efficiency and quality of irrigation water delivery by replacing open irrigation channels with pipelines and automated pumping stations.

Through the life of the Project there have been three major extensions to the original scope of works.

The new system is fully-operational and all growers are connected, although rehabilitation works will continue for several weeks.

Thank you to irrigators and the wider community for their patience, co-operation and support throughout the project.

We look forward to watching our district’s potential unfold through the benefits of modern, efficient irrigation infrastructure and the diversity of new crops and opportunities the SMP has allowed.

Click here to view the final interim report. 

What has SMP delivered? 

The objective of the SMP was to provide 365-day water supply to as many irrigation customers as possible, and to improve overall water quality by replacing channels with pipeline.

As the SMP was rolled out, the project team identified further efficiencies and potential opportunities that would enhance the original project outcomes – to increase the number of customers who would benefit.

Contracts were structured and the project was planned to allow enhancements to be built in during rollout – an unprecedented achievement in Australian public water infrastructure delivery.

The enhancements were delivered within the original project budget and within the original project timeframes.

These enhancements allowed much more pipeline than was originally planned to be installed across the district.

The original SMP business case was for improved service to 897 (49 %) irrigation assessments in the Sunraysia Irrigation District, or 5912 hectares.
The enhanced SMP has delivered upgraded service to 1198 (65 %) irrigation assessments (7858 hectares).

Speed Restrictions

Whilst the project is complete there is some repairs works underway which require the speed restrictions below:
  • Millewa Avenue, Red Cliffs between Sixteenth Street and Karadoc Avenue - speed reduction to 60kms.


SMP Video Updates





SMP receives Australian Water Association
Project Innovation Award

The Sunraysia Modernisation Project has recently been awarded the Project Innovation Award by AWA and will now be put forward for the National OzWater awards in early 2016.
The award recognises innovative and unique features which set it apart from common practice, environmental and water resource benefits, social benefits and sustainable design considerations.


SMP Project Director, Frank Fisseler and LMW Customer Relations Coordinator, Leesa Merrett recently accepted the award at the Gala ceremony in Melbourne.

SMP Media Releases
 SMP wins prestigious AWA State Award 10 December 2015
 SMP entering commissioning phase 30 September 2015
 New Project Director announced for SMP 29 June 2015
 Red Cliffs enhancement announced 6 May 2015
 Jobs flow as part of the SMP - 10 February 2015
 Channel Automation Contractor Announced for SMP - December 2014
 More irrigators to benefit from modernisation - issued 24 Sept 2014
 Historic 1920's pump for Pump Hill at Merbein under SMP
Contractor announced for $120m SMP
SMP Contractor appointed for metering upgrade - Issued 26 June 2014
SMP Metering Program Update - Issued 5 June 2014
SMP Project Director Announced - Issued 30 April 2014
SMP Funding Announcement - Issued 19 December 2013

Awarded Tenders
Metering Works Package awarded to Comdain Civil Constructions Pty Ltd on 20 June 2014

Pump Station and Pipelines Package awarded to the joint venture between Guidera O’Connor Pty Ltd and Leed Engineering and Construction Pty Ltd (GOLD) on 5th August 2014

Channel Automation works were awarded to Comdain Civil Constructions Pty Ltd - December 2014 

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The management and staff at Lower Murray Water proudly acknowledges the traditional owners; the Barapa Barapa Peoples, the Wamba Wamba Peoples, the Wadi Wadi Peoples, the Tatti Tatti Peoples, the Latji Latji Peoples, the Nyeri Nyeri Peoples and the Werigia Peoples and respect their connection to both their land and waterways.
The land and water are to be respected and nurtured, to be in keeping with these First Nations Peoples….