A $14 million upgrade to Tasmania’s Greater Meander Irrigation Scheme Augmentation – including pump upgrades – is expected to deliver reduced costs to irrigators and farmers.
The upgrades will produce more than 11,000ML of additional, high-surety irrigation water to the 28,800ML Greater Meander Scheme.
The Federal Government will provide $5 million for the scheme as part of the $108 million National Water Grid Connections funding pathway.
Assistant Minister for Industry Development and Senator for Tasmania, Jonno Duniam, said the National Water Grid Connections is about delivering short-term economic stimulus through small-scale projects.
“This important project will convert open supply channels to new and extended pipelines,” Mr Duniam said.
“This will help to provide an additional 11,000ML of water for irrigators in the area, which will deliver huge benefits for agriculture in this region.
“It is part of a $20 million federal commitment under this funding pathway for Tasmanian projects to improve water reliability and efficiency across the state.”
The Tasmanian Government has allocated $2 million toward the upgrade of the Meander mini-hydro power station along with an additional $3.5 million for solar upgrades across a number of other schemes.
A further $7 million will be contributed from the sale of new water entitlements.
Tasmanian Primary Industries and Water Minister, Guy Barnett, said the Tasmanian Government welcomes federal funding for water projects in Tasmania under the National Water Grid Connections funding pathway initiative.
“The Tasmanian Government is on track to deliver our ambitious target to grow the farm gate value of agriculture to 10 billion by 2050 and irrigation is an integral part of that strategy,” Mr Barnett said.
“The Greater Meander Scheme is a great example of the Tasmanian and Australian Governments partnering with farmers to deliver water at a reduced cost by generating renewable energy, giving great water surety to farmers and also contributing to better river health.”
The works, including pipeline extensions, converting riparian flow to piped water, intake screen and pump upgrades and the installation of solar power plants to pump stations, will result in an additional high-surety irrigation water being delivered to farmers and reduced costs to irrigators.