The Tasmanian Government has released the preferred design option for the $65.8 million Northern Midlands Irrigation Scheme.

The project has been designed to deliver 11,425 megalitres of high-surety irrigation water and much-needed jobs for regional Tasmania.

Irrigators are set to harvest the benefits of much-needed water surety, enabling farmers to diversify, expand and value add, as well as provide much-needed guarantees for crop contracts and on-farm investment leverage.

The Tasmanian Government said this is great news for farmers and will support existing jobs, as well as creating up to 60 jobs during construction and a further 139 once operational.

The Northern Midlands Irrigation Scheme has been formed through a public/private partnership between the Tasmanian and Australian Governments, which have contributed $49.36 million toward the scheme, and $16.45 million committed by private landholders.

When completed, the Pipeline to Prosperity state-wide irrigation plan is expected to provide almost 78,000 megalitres of water, create up to 2,600 full-time jobs, trigger an additional $150 million in on-farm private investment and inject an estimated $114 million each year into the sector, and economy more broadly.

Feedback on the preferred design option can be forwarded to Tasmanian Irrigation before 12 October. 

Water sales will commence in late October with a view to construction commencing in early 2022 and the first water flowing in time for the 2024/25 irrigation season.

The Tasmanian Government has committed $85 million toward the development of the first five Tranche Three irrigation projects, including Don, Fingal, Northern Midlands, Tamar and the augmentation of Sassafras Wesley Vale.

The scheme is set to play an integral role in assisting the Tasmanian Government reach its target of increasing the farmgate value of the state’s agricultural sector to $10 billion a year by 2050.

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