MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 20, 2010 -- Connecting Geelong's water storages with Melbourne's extensive water supply network and major water projects is another step closer with Barwon Water awarding the construction contract to build the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline.
The contract has been awarded to leading Australian construction company, Abigroup Limited, and will create up to 200 jobs.
Water Minister Tim Holding said work would start on the 59 kilometre pipeline in a matter of weeks.
"The Melbourne to Geelong pipeline is an essential part of Barwon Water and the Brumby Labor Government's plan to provide a secure water supply to Victoria's second largest city," Mr Holding said.
"The pipeline will connect Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula and the Surf Coast to the Government's major water projects including the Sugarloaf Pipeline and the desalination plant."
"The pipeline will link Barwon Water's Lovely Banks basins in Geelong with the Melbourne system at Cowies Hill, near Werribee, and deliver up to 16 billion litres of water a year.
"More than 60 towns and suburbs across Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula and parts of the Surf Coast stand to benefit from the pipeline when it is completed at the end of 2011."
Member for South Barwon Michael Crutchfield said the Melbourne to Geelong pipeline and other local water projects would ensure that households in the region would come off severe water restrictions.
"Recent rainfall has significantly boosted Geelong's water storages but the real relief will come from the certainty of water from the Anglesea Borefield, Melbourne to Geelong pipeline and recycled water projects," Mr Crutchfield said.
"The Government's intention is to move all towns in Victoria off water restrictions so people can have more flexibility in how they use water in the house and the garden."
The Victorian Government has committed $20 million towards the project, with Barwon Water customers funding the balance.
Barwon Water Managing Director Michael Malouf said the project headlined the corporation's $900 million investment in water and sewerage infrastructure over the next five years
"The Melbourne to Geelong pipeline is among key projects that will boost Geelong's supply by 75 per cent of current demand and meet forecast growth," Mr Malouf said.
"The pipeline is integral to the greater Geelong region's long-term water future."