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Construction to begin at Hattah Lakes

Major environmental works are scheduled to begin at Hattah Lakes later this month. The planned works, funded through The Living Murray program, will help restore a more natural pattern of flows to the iconic lake system by efficiently delivering environmental water to maximise ecological outcomes, while maintaining the beautiful environment at Hattah Lakes for the community’s enjoyment.

The works include the construction of a pump station, four regulators and three stop banks. The pump station will be constructed at Messengers Bend, where Chalka Creek meets the Murray River.

The Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is coordinating the delivery of The Living Murray program in the Victorian Mallee, on behalf of the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment and the Murray Darling Basin Authority. The Mallee CMA is working in partnership with Parks Victoria, the land manager of the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park where much of the work is being undertaken.

Goulburn-Murray Water is responsible for the construction and on-going operation of the infrastructure. Goulburn-Murray Water has awarded the construction contract to Comdain Infrastructure. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“River regulation has understandably affected the frequency, duration and extent of natural flooding at Hattah Lakes,” said Sharyon Peart, Mallee CMA Board Chairperson.

“The works will enable a more natural water regime to be restored to the lakes, using both natural floods and managed watering events.”

The water delivered to the lakes will come from environmental water allocations.

Community consultation regarding the Hattah Lakes Living Murray project has been underway since 2008, with the formation of a Community Reference Group, media coverage, stakeholder meetings, group tours and on-going Indigenous engagement.

Ms Peart encouraged local residents and visitors to the region to keep up to date with the progress of the construction works.

“Hattah Lakes is beautiful part of the Victorian Mallee and it attracts thousands of locals and tourists to the area each year, so it’s really important to us that people right across our region know exactly what’s going on,” she said.
“Access to the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park will be affected during construction, with a number of roads closed due to public safety, including the River Track.

“However, visitors will still be able to access the Hattah lakes, most campgrounds and walking tracks.”

Regular updates will be available during the construction phase on the Mallee CMA website's Hattah Lakes page; the Parks Victoria website; and the Hattah Lakes Twitter page @HattahLakes.

“The updates will include images of progress and alerts on any road closures or access limitations as a result of the construction works,” Ms Peart said.

The Living Murray program is a joint initiative funded by the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian, Australian Capital Territory and the Commonwealth governments, coordinated by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA). It aims to ensure environmental water is used efficiently and ecological benefits are maximised. 

To find out more information on the planned construction at Hattah Lakes, contact the Mallee CMA on 5051 4377.

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