Tasmanian Irrigation Annual Report confirms benefits for farmers

Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

The 2019/20 Tasmanian Irrigation (TI) Annual Report, tabled in Parliament today, confirms TI delivered a record 87,510 megalitres of high-surety irrigation water in 2019/20 – a 35 per cent increase on the previous year.

This is fantastic news and has created jobs in our regional areas while allowing thousands of farmers to expand the area planted to high-value crops, increase rotations, boost yields, and diversify into new enterprises, such as wine grapes, leafy-green vegetables and berries.

It confirms our commitment to deliver nation-leading irrigation schemes that are transforming Tasmanian agriculture and creating jobs in our regional areas, while expanding farm production to meet the growing demand for Tasmania’s premium produce.

Importantly, Tranche One and four Tranche Two irrigation schemes have already been completed, and the fifth and final Tranche Two irrigation project is set to deliver water to farmers in the Scottsdale, Bridport, Springfield, Nabowla and Waterhouse areas for the 2020/21 irrigation season.

Pleasingly, there has been a very positive response to the Expressions of Interest process for the first five Tranche Three projects, and the Don Irrigation scheme is set to be the first to progress through the planning and approvals process.

When completed, our Pipeline to Prosperity state-wide irrigation plan is expected to provide almost 78,000 megalitres of water, create up to 2,600 full-time jobs, trigger an additional $150 million in on-farm private investment and inject an estimated $114 million each year into the sector, and economy more broadly.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • A record number of irrigators were serviced in 2019/20, 9 per cent more than the previous year (854 in 2019/20 compared to 783 in 2018/19)
  • TI reduced administration and operating overhead costs per water entitlement ($18.13 in 2019/20 compared to $19.96 in 2018/19)

Well done to the Board and Staff at TI for these great results which is testament to their outstanding work in partnership with farmers, which is underpinning Tasmanian agriculture for generations to come.

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