Minister for Primary Industries and Water Bryan Green has revealed an extra $1.6 million in funding to Tasmanian Irrigation in this year’s State Budget is set to drive further investment and innovation in Tasmania’s agricultural sector.
Mr Green believes the additional funding would help maximise the economic and social benefits from the development of major irrigation projects.
“TI [Tasmanian Irrigation] through its Irrigation Development Unit will use the funding to attract investment and the innovation needed to get the best value from our irrigation infrastructure. The Government’s support of irrigation development will now extend beyond the commitment of capital funding to build these new schemes.”
Mr Green revealed $750,000 had been allocated this financial year with $300,000 a year for the following three years. A further $38 million had been allocated in this year’s budget to continue building irrigation schemes.
“We want to increase agribusiness investment on the back of new or expanded irrigated enterprises. The money will go towards construction of the Midlands Water scheme, the biggest irrigation development ever undertaken in Tasmania, and the Kindred North Motton scheme in the North-West.”
The current program is expected to be completed in 2015-16 and is set to have delivered more than 90,000 megalitres of water from 10 new irrigation schemes.
Mr Green believes $220 million of Federal and State Government funding will have been spent of the irrigation development program together with $100 million of direct private sector investment.
“A comprehensive submission has now gone to Infrastructure Australia seeking a further $130 million to enable the second tranche of projects to be built,” Mr Green said.