Sunraysia Modernisation Project (SMP)

The biggest infrastructure upgrade in Sunraysia’s irrigation history.

time Completed

Project benefits

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    Replaced open irrigation channels with pipelines.

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    Upgraded pump stations to provide a range of flows with more efficient energy use

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    Decommissioned redundant infrastructure

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    Automated remaining channels

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    Installed a modern irrigation and domestic and stock meter fleet.

About the project

The objective of the Sunraysia Modernisation Project (SMP) was to:

  • provide 365-day water supply to as many irrigation customers as possible
  • increase efficiency of water delivery
  • improve overall water quality.

As the SMP was rolled out, the project team identified efficiencies and potential opportunities that would increase the number of customers who would benefit.

There were 3 major changes to the original scope of works, which allowed much more pipeline to be installed across the district than was originally planned.

SMP aimed to improve services to 897 (49%) irrigation assessments in the Sunraysia Irrigation District – or 5,912 hectares.

The enhanced SMP delivered improved services to 1,198 (65%) irrigation assessments – or 7,858 hectares.

The project was planned and contracts were structured in a way that would allow enhancements – an unprecedented achievement in Australian public water infrastructure delivery.

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

The project was funded with $103 million from the Federal Government and $17 million from Lower Murray Water’s capital works budget.

On 21 September 2016, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Harsuyker, officially opened the SMP. The system is fully operational and all growers are connected.

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 allows.

For more information, see the Sunraysia Modernisation Project interim report.