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Madowla Park is located 10km south of Barmah at the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers. The property pumps its irrigation supply from both river systems. It covers an area of 4,200ha, of which 1,500ha is irrigated.

Farming Enterprise

The farm has an interesting history, having been owned and operated under the John Elliott umbrella as a rice farm in the 80’s, and includes some beautiful historic housing and living areas at the junction of the rivers.

In 2005 it was acquired by the Joint Government Enterprise “Water for Rivers” for reconfiguration and recovery of water savings under a special program funded jointly by Victoria, NSW and the Commonwealth.

WFR then sold the property back to the private sector (Peter O’Donnell) in 2011 as a redeveloped, water efficient cereal and pasture operation.

It is now being further upgraded by Peter and his team under OFIEP. They are very progressive in their environmental and commercial focus and IEP believes this property will one day live again in some of its former glories.

Madowla Park is now a mixed farming enterprise with some of the output directed to the eco fuel business the group are developing on another front.

Project Description

The Madowla Park project involved the decommissioning of 223ha of flood irrigation layout and installation of two pivoting lateral move irrigators, with associated earthworks and pipelines. The project also involved the erection of new fence lines and access tracks, vegetation removal and the establishment of corresponding vegetation offsets.

Under the previous flood irrigation systems the project area was used for cereal and rice production. It is intended that the spray systems will irrigate winter crops in the future, particularly canola to supply the biofuel plant owned and run by the proponent. The project will save in the order of 470ML each year (which is the equivalent of just over 2ML/ha).

The project has only recently completed. It is not yet possible to confirm actual water savings or changes in farm productivity and flexibility.

However it is reasonable to assume that the benefits being reported elsewhere in projects with similar installations will quickly become apparent at Madowla.

Report Card

  • Estimated Water Savings of 2ML/ha.

  • Estimated total water savings of 470ha.

  • Total of 410ML of water transferred to the Commonwealth.

  • Secure supply of canola to underpin a biofuel enterprise.