Murray–Darling Basin Authority, Media Release, 15 January 2024
The 2023 JS Collings Trophy for excellence in maintaining major water management infrastructure on the River Murray has been awarded to Mildura Weir by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).
MDBA’s Executive Director River Management, Andrew Reynolds, said operating Mildura Weir during the largest flood on the Murray for over 50 years floods was a difficult task.
“Each year the MDBA considers the management of the locks and weirs and the major dams along the Murray system and selects one that embodies that excellence and pride in effectively maintaining this critical infrastructure,” Mr Reynolds said.
“This time round, the team from Mildura weir really stood out, having removed and reinstated the trestles multiple times over 2022 and 2023.The team also removed the winch prior to the peak of the largest flooding and quickly reinstate it as the flood receded so the way could be returned to operation.”
“Mildura Weir comprises 24 steel trestles, each weighing approximately 11 tonnes, that can be winched from the river to allow maintenance, or to allow the safe passage of flood waters.”
Mildura Weir was constructed in 1927. It is also the only trestle weir left in Australia, making the task of removing and reinstating it particularly unique.
Mr Reynolds congratulated the team on the careful planning, well documented procedures and safety improvements made to access the trestles and handle the winch cable that ensured this unique structure was managed efficiently and safely.
“While there can only be one winner and I congratulate Mildura Weir, I want to also acknowledge the dedication and hard work by all staff operating critical river infrastructure that provides water to some of Australia’s biggest agricultural regions,” Mr Reynolds said.
Goulburn–Murray Water maintains and operates the weir on behalf of the MDBA.
GMW Water Storage Services general manager Martina Cusack said she was pleased the Mildura Weir team had received the recognition.
“It has been an incredibly busy couple of years for our Mildura staff,” Ms Cusack said.
“Due to persistent wet conditions leading to repeated floods, they have had to remove and reinstate the weir on several occasions.
“They have done a fantastic job of maintaining the infrastructure amidst this turmoil, while also completing several other significant projects and finding innovative ways to improve the storage,” Ms Cusack said.
The JS Collings Trophy will be presented to the Mildura Weir team of Jullian Kelleher, John Mensforth, Josh Cruikshank, and Matt Gardner.