Key milestone achieved in job-creating Circular Head Irrigation Scheme

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Image credit: flickr User: Carsten ten Brink

The Liberal Government’s vision of growing the farm gate value of Tasmania’s agricultural industries to $10 million a year by 2050 is beginning to take shape, with the launch of the preferred option for the Circular Head Irrigation Scheme, which has been in the pipeline for many years.

Image credit: flickr User: Carsten ten Brink
Image credit: flickr User: Carsten ten Brink

“Today is a milestone for the Circular Head Irrigation Scheme project with the launch of the preferred option. This 21,400 mega-litre scheme would take water from the Welcome, Montagu and Arthur rivers in periods of high flow, store it in dams and then deliver to participating landholders through a 100km network of underground pipes via several pump stations,” Minister for Primary Industries and Water Rockliff said in a media release.

“The local community believes there is a strong case for such a scheme to drive the expansion of existing dairy and irrigated cropping enterprises. Once Tasmanian Irrigation has received community feedback on the preferred option the project will commence water sales and then a business case for the scheme will be developed.”

The Circular Head Irrigation Scheme is one of five schemes that the Liberal Government is supporting to help grow the state’s primary industries and boost employment in Circular Head and across Tasmania, with up to 108 full-time positions expected to be created on-farm and in the farm service sector.

Mr Rockliff said the Government was committed to build the second tranche of irrigation projects which will deliver reliable water to prime dairy and cropping land in the State’s Far North-West.

“We are investing $30 million in our first Budget and will continue to work to secure a $110 million contribution from the Australian Government, as well as private capital from farmers, to realise all of these projects,” Mr Rockliff said.

“In addition, we have allocated $500,000 to Tasmanian Irrigation, the Government’s irrigation specialists, to investigate the potential for interconnectivity and modernisation across all irrigation districts, new and old. We are also providing $2.9 million in this Budget in increased research and development, farm productivity and irrigation support programs to help farmers realise the greatest value from investment in irrigation.”