Ensuring water benefits continue to flow to community

Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Water is one of Tasmania’s natural advantages and the Tasmanian Liberal Government is delivering contemporary water management practices to support agriculture, renewable energy and jobs in regional communities.

Our Rural Water Use Strategy will guide the State’s future water management arrangements to ensure integrated, fair and efficient regulation of our water resources over the next decade and towards 2050.

The Rural Water Use Strategy will help protect Tasmania’s environmental values and protect river health while ensuring sustainable outcomes for irrigators and rural communities, while underpinning Tasmania’s growth towards becoming a global leader in the renewable hydrogen sector.

To help implement the Strategy and maintain Tasmania’s competitive advantages in a changing climate and ensuing the long term wise use of water, the Government is forming a Rural Water Round Table made up of water users, stakeholders and environmental managers.

This group will provide direction and advice on appropriate, sustainable water use including river health monitoring and management.

We are also establishing a River Health Advisory Project with $1.5 million committed over four years to implement initiatives identified in the Rural Water Use Strategy, with funds for:

  • river health advisory project and industry communications
  • streamline dam management and improve dam safety; and
  • monitoring and metering, including modernising licences and permits

The Strategy underwent extensive consultation with key stakeholders, including Hydro Tasmania, TasWater, Tasmanian Irrigation and the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association.

The sustainable development of our water resources has the potential to greatly increase opportunities in irrigated agriculture in Tasmania helping to deliver the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s plan to grow the value of Tasmanian agricultural production to $10 billion by 2050.

This Strategy also delivers on key parts of the Government’s White Paper: Competitiveness of Tasmanian Agriculture for 2050 released in 2020 in relation to harnessing our natural capital and climate ready agriculture, for example.

The overall Rural Water Use Strategy is available at https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/water/water-legislation-policies-and-strategies/rural-water-use-strategy

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