Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, has announced the completion of Upper Ringarooma Irrigation Scheme which aims to deliver more efficient water infrastructure to Tasmania’s north east.

The Upper Ringarooma Irrigation Scheme included construction of a 6,500ML zoned earth-fill embankment dam at Dunns Creek, installation of an 771KW pump station at Cottons bridge and a 14KW pump station at Dunns Creek, and installation of a 38.5km underground pipeline.

Mr Joyce said the $28million project will unlock a wealth of opportunities for farmers in the region, with the delivery of highly reliable irrigation water.

“Projects like this are an integral part of the Australian Government’s commitment to building the water infrastructure of the future.

“So far we have contributed $140million to the Supporting More Efficient Irrigation in Tasmania scheme, as well as a further $9million for the Dial-Blythe Scheme.

“Almost one-third of the nation’s agricultural production flowed from irrigation activity in 2012–13, adding $13.4billion in gross value to our nation’s bottom line. Effective water infrastructure is clearly essential for our nation’s continued growth and prosperity.”

Federal Member for Bass, Andrew Nikolic said the Dunns Creek dam will yield 5,700 ML of irrigation water a year to a potential area of 10,177Ha—more than double the current area under irrigation of 4,480Ha.

“This will open up big opportunities for farmers in the region, particularly those in dairy and cropping, including wheat, poppies and potatoes,” Mr Nikolic said.

“Projects like this help stimulate regional economies by creating jobs, and using local resources and suppliers during construction.

Minister Joyce said the Upper Ringarooma Irrigation Scheme was an integral part of the Government’s work to deliver long-term water security for industries and communities not only in Tasmania, but for the nation as a whole.

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