FIVE Wimmera municipalities will benefit from a $2-million fund to improve fire-fighting infrastructure along the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline.
Horsham, Northern Grampians, Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh and Buloke municipalities will receive money to install water tanks and fire hydrants.
Loddon, Swan Hill and Gannawarra shires will also receive a share of the money.
Minister for Water Peter Walsh said infrastructure should be operational before the next fire season.
“Following the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline’s completion in 2010, fire-fighting infrastructure across eight council areas must be converted from farm dams to a ready-piped supply,” he said.
“Initially the cost of this conversion and installation of tanks and hydrants along the pipeline was to be the responsibility of councils.
“However, the state and federal governments have decided to save the councils and ratepayers $2 million by re-allocating funds from the pipeline project.”
Horsham Mayor David Grimble welcomed the announcement.
“We have installed a number of tanks in strategic places,” he said.
“The additional funding will cover those areas where there might be a void.
“For lot of people it might mean the best of both worlds.
“We will have access to the channels with water and in areas where there is no accessible water we can rely on the infrastructure.”
He said the money would complete the infrastructure to Horsham Rural City Council’s initial expectations.
“It is good to see the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline has come within budget to allow the additional money to complete the project,'' he said.
"It will definitely be welcomed by all of the municipalities that will receive the funding to do the work.''
Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty was pleased the State Government was able to reduce the burden on councils and enable vital infrastructure to be installed.
“This was an outstanding issue that had not been resolved,” he said.
“I’m pleased to say our government was able to help.”