Tasmanian Irrigation driving continued agricultural growth

Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Tasmanian Irrigation (TI) is delivering nation-leading irrigation schemes enabling farmers to diversify, value add and expand their existing farming operations; a key plank for meeting our target of increasing the farm gate value of Tasmania’s agricultural sector to $10 billion a year by 2050.

The 2018/19 Annual Report, tabled in Parliament today, confirms irrigation is underpinning agricultural production and boosting farm productivity across the State.

Key achievements outlined in the report include:

  • Over 64,000 megalitres of water successfully delivered to irrigators during the year to meet seasonal demand, with total water entitlements of over 123,000 megalitres now available;
  • 14 projects are now successfully completed as part of Tranche One and Tranche Two construction programs with the opening of three new schemes during the year:
    • Duck Irrigation Scheme (delivering 5200 megalitres of water in the Smithton region);
    • North Esk Irrigation Scheme (delivering 4,685 megalitres of water to about 57 farmers in the Evandale, Nile, White Hills and Relbia areas); and
    • Swan Irrigation Scheme (delivering 2000 megalitres of water to farmers north of Swansea on the East Coast).
  • Construction of the final Tranche Two project – the Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme – is on track for water to flow in February 2020.
  • In total, these schemes have the capacity to deliver more than 150,000 megalitres of high-reliability irrigation water to Tasmanian farmers.

The Hodgman and Morrison Governments are jointly investing $170 million into our Pipeline to Prosperity – Tranche 3, which will allow TI to deliver the first phase of at least five new irrigation schemes across the state, whilst Tasmanian Irrigation continues with the planning for other proposed schemes.

The first five projects proposed in the Don, Fingal, Northern Midlands, Sassafras Wesley Vale, and Tamar districts are progressing through the planning and approvals process and would provide farmers in each district with confidence to invest further in growing their businesses.

I would like to thank the Board and Staff at Tasmanian Irrigation for their outstanding work in partnership with farmers which is underpinning Tasmanian agriculture for generations to come.

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