Plug The Pipe

The Plug The Pipe website will shortly go into temporary or permanent recess (2011) as the aims of the Plug the Pipe Campaign have largely been satisfied.

We thank all those thousands of Australians who have helped fight this shameful project which set about to deprive the environment and food producers of precious water from the Murray Darling Basin and send it to Melbourne.

It was announced on the 14th November 2011 that water would not run down the pipe unless Melbourne's water storages went below 30% in November of any year. It was also mentioned, that during the drought conditions of 2007-2010, that dams never went below 30% in November.. in other words, its very unlikely that water will ever run in the pipe.

Who Are We?

Farmers that see irrigation water security and productivity being diminished by the ill conceived Foodbowl Modernisation Plan and North South Pipeline.

Environmental Advocates that see the wasteful plundering of our water supplies, which will degrade our highland catchments, and the Murray River System.

Tourist Operators and Businesses that see the removal of water resources affecting their long-term viability.

Melbourne Residents that believe the current Victorian Government measures to supply Melbourne with water are inadequate and dangerous.

Country Communities who will be affected by all of the above.

What Is Our Objective?

To protect the rural economies and environment of country communities by stopping the North South Pipeline from being built.


I am writing this letter from the heart. We are worried about the Victorian State Government's North South Pipeline from the Goulburn River to Melbourne. The pipeline will not solve Melbourne's water problems, as there isn't much water in Eildon.

They plan to dip into the Environmental Reserve water and savings to try to deliver water to Melbourne before the next election.

I urge you to contact the Plug the Pipe group. They have many people who are finding the flaws in the Government's planning, so are against the 'theft of water'. Even the Victorian Auditor General queried the Government's plans. Melbourne Water and the Sugarloaf Alliance were supposed to stop work until environmental approval was received, but have not done so..

As a result of this pipeline there will be less food grown, leading to higher food prices. The huge amount of power required to pump so much water over a mountain will put further demands on our inadequate power system. The proposed renewable power system announced this week will not be sufficient for the pipeline and the desalination plant - this pipeline alone will use almost 20% of it.

The State Government is also treating rural Victorians as if we do not exist. After repeated requests to simply attend to hear our claims, they seem to be afraid to come and personally talk to us. They send Contractors and Consultants who openly tell us they are unable to answer questions - they either say 'we don't know' or 'we cannot answer policy questions'.

Irrigators have no water allocations again this year, but are still expected to pay. It is ironic that the new Superpipe to Ballarat and Bendigo, recently completed, also has no allocation, so lies idle - that pipe is not a solution for them. If the drought continues, Ballarat and Bendigo, and also Broadford must take water from the Eildon Environmental blue-green algae reserve for critical human needs. There will be very little of that reserve left for Melbourne, so the North South Pipeline is a waste of money, because it will also lie idle in a drought.

Speaker after speaker at the Plug the Pipe rallies confirm there are much cheaper and more reliable solutions for Melbourne's water. Some of those refer to completed designs ready to proceed which have been completed for previous Victorian Governments, and which they say do not require the huge ongoing power requirement to pump water over the mountain.

We rely on you to get our message across to the Government. In view of the large body of scientific evidence from many sources including the CSIRO which casts doubt on the availability of water in the north for Melbourne, and the damage taking so much water from the Murray Darling Basin will have, it is critical that a full environmental, social and economic evaluation of the loss of so much water from the Food Bowl be completed before proceeding. So far Environmental studies have only considered the pipeline's alignment, and not the other far-reaching aspects.
Beverley Ridd

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