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Source: State of Tasmania Government

13 December 2020

Guy Barnett, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Claire Chandler, Liberal Senator for Tasmania

The Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments continue to deliver irrigation schemes enabling farmers to diversify, value add and expand their existing farming operations, demonstrated by water sales opening for the $73.29 million Northern Midlands Irrigation Scheme tomorrow.

Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Guy Barnett said the demand for high-surety irrigation water has been so great, that Tasmanian Irrigation has increased the capacity of the scheme from 11,400 to 13,000 megalitres.

“Agriculture is the cornerstone of the Tasmanian economy, which is why the State and Commonwealth Governments are jointly investing $185 million to deliver irrigation infrastructure to support rural and regional Tasmania, creating jobs and expanding farm production to meet the growing demand for Tasmania’s premium produce,” Minister Barnett said.

“Our irrigation infrastructure is leading the nation, having delivered 16 new irrigation schemes and the Greater Meander Valley Irrigation Scheme.

“The Northern Midlands Irrigation Scheme is expected to generate up to 60 jobs during construction, and a further 121 jobs once operational, including 81 on-farm jobs and 40 indirect”.

Liberal Senator for Tasmania Claire Chandler said the need to expand the capacity of the scheme to include south of Cressy, Macquarie, Barton, Isis, Conara, Campbell Town and Ross districts, is a reflection on the national and international demand for Tasmanian produce.

“Tasmanian agriculture is booming because consumers across Australia and around the world are demanding our premium produce, which is driving investment and jobs in every region of our state,” Senator Chandler said.

“This is fantastic news for farmers and their workers in the region who will benefit from much-needed water surety.

“It’s another demonstration of the Australian and Tasmanian Governments working together to help those working in our vital primary industries, while creating additional jobs in the 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.

Water Sales application forms will be posted to all landowners that completed an Expression of Interest in the project, and can also be downloaded from www.tasmanianirrigation.com.au from Monday.

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