Irrigation infrastructure benefits flow to Tasmanian farmers

Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Irrigation water is liquid gold for Tasmanian farmers allowing them to diversify, value add and expand their existing farming operations.

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is delivering our nation leading irrigation schemes, which are transforming Tasmanian agriculture, creating jobs and meeting the growing demand for our premium produce.

The Hodgman and Morrison Governments are also jointly investing $170 million into our Pipeline to Prosperity – Tranche 3, with the first five projects proposed in the Don, Northern Midlands, Sassafras Wesley Vale, Tamar and Fingal districts all progressing through the planning and approvals process.

Feedback has been extremely positive with the project at Don, near Devonport, on track for likely approvals in early 2020 with construction then to start later next year. Local farmers have also expressed interest exceeding 5,000 megalitres, more than triple the 1,300 megalitres originally proposed for the proposed Sassafras Wesley-Vale Scheme Augmentation project.

Pipeline to Prosperity is providing farmers in each district with confidence to invest further in growing their businesses.

It is estimated that when fully implemented, the 10 Tranche 3 projects could deliver 78,000 megalitres of water to farmers, create 2,600 full time jobs and increase annual on-farm production by $114 million at the farm gate.

To date, Tasmanian Irrigation has delivered 14 projects as part of Tranche One and Tranche Two construction programs with the final Tranche Two project – the Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme – on track for water to flow in early 2020.

In total, the Tranche One and Tranche Two schemes have the capacity to deliver approximately 100,000 megalitres of high-reliability irrigation water to Tasmanian farmers.

In contrast, Labor has no vision or plan for agriculture, they are all hat, no cattle, all talk and no plan.

We have a plan to grow the farm gate value of Tasmania’s agricultural sector to $10 billion a year by 2050 and our plan is working with Tasmania’s agricultural production increasing in value in 2017-18 to $1.60 billion, an increase of 9.1 per cent.

Irrigation investment is good news for farmers, agricultural trade and exports, and it is good news for Tasmanian jobs in regional communities.

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