The first irrigation pumping station built in 1885 near Murchison, was capable of lifting large volumes of water from the Goulburn River into a brick-receiving bay.

This water supplied many miles of channel systems to the farming district between the Goulburn and Campaspe Rivers, under the control of the United Echuca and Waranga Waterworks Trust. 

Further improvement of the irrigation system occurred with the construction of the Goulburn Weir in 1890. This was the first major water diversion structure in Australia and considered at the time to be of very advanced design.

The concrete structure 212 metres long, raised the water 15 metres above the river bed to allow the water to flow through hundreds of kilometres of supply channels by gravity.

The first hydro-electric turbines in the Southern Hemisphere were also included in the project.

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