The Federal Government has pledged nearly $40 million towards the Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme in Western Australia, with Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals’ leader, Michael McCormack making the announcement.

The Western Australian Government has also allocated $19 million to the project, under the Royalties for Regions program, while $11 million was secured from local growers.

The project will involve the construction of a 15GL capacity dam and a pipeline distribution network.

Federal Member for O’Connor, Rick Wilson, believes the water infrastructure project in the Southern Forest food bowl region will be a game changer for the agriculture sector.

“I’ve been working with the proponents for some time and I have been a strong advocate for the scheme in Canberra,” Mr Wilson said.

“I brought Assistant Agriculture and Water Resources Minister, Richard Colbeck, to Manjimup last month to meet with the scheme proponents and ensure the project was front and centre in the minds of the decision makers.

“The Southern Forest region is a major food producer for WA, so it’s essential to guarantee future water resources into the future.

“The Scheme will increase water availability to our job-producing regional industries. Greater water security will provide growers with the confidence to invest in their business to underpin an expansion of high value irrigated horticulture of up to 1675 hectares.”

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