October 5, 2021

Guy Barnett, Minister of Primary Industries and Water and Claire Chandler, Senator from Tasmania,

The governments of Tasmania and the Commonwealth of Nations continue to work together to put in place leading irrigation programs that allow farmers to diversify, add value and expand their existing farming operations.

Following a very positive response to farmers’ water sales, the business case for the North Midlands Irrigation Program has now been approved.

Tasmanian Irrigation has redesigned the North Midlands irrigation scheme due to dramatically increased demand from irrigators, increasing from 13,000 megaliters to 25,500 megaliters.

As part of the business case, three pumping stations and 157.3 km of pipeline will provide high-security water during a 180-day summer irrigation season, with construction scheduled to begin in 2022 and be completed. in October 2024.

The $ 146.88 million program would be funded by the governments of the Commonwealth and Tasmania, with $ 36.72 million from farmers via the purchase of water.

The program is expected to create 90 full-time jobs during construction and support up to 222 direct jobs when fully operational. Private on-farm investment undertaken by farmers acquiring rights is estimated to be around $ 81.98 million.

Minister Barnett said the business case would now be reviewed by the National Water Grid Authority, with the program designed to enable farmers in the region to expand the area planted to high value crops, increase rotations , to increase yields and to diversify into new businesses, such as wine grapes, green leafy vegetables and berries.

“Having delivered 16 new irrigation systems and the Great Meander Valley Irrigation Program, Tasmania is the envy of the nation and we are continuing the work, investing more than $ 30 million in the budget of Tasmania 2021-22 to continue delivering our national leader. irrigation projects, ”said Minister Barnett.

“This is a key part of our comprehensive agri-food plan to increase the value of agriculture to $ 10 billion by 2050.”

Senator Chandler said agriculture is the backbone of Tasmania’s economy, which is why the Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments are jointly investing $ 185 million to provide irrigation infrastructure to support rural Tasmania and regionally, to create jobs and expand agricultural production to meet the growing demand for the Tasmanian premium. produce.

“We will continue to work closely with the Government of Tasmania to complete this and other irrigation projects in the state,” said Senator Chandler.

When completed, the Tasmanian government’s Pipeline to Prosperity statewide irrigation plan is expected to provide nearly 78,000 megaliters of water, create up to 2,600 full-time jobs, trigger 150 million additional dollars of private investment on the farm and injecting approximately 114 million dollars each year into the sector and the economy in general.

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