The South Australian Government is seeking support from the Federal Government for a $3.5 million feasibility study for more water supply across the Barossa and Eden Valleys to bolster sustainable agriculture production.
Initial long-term estimates show additional water to the Barossa and Eden Valleys could generate $292 million for the state’s economy and create 1,000 jobs.
South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, David Basham, said an additional water supply could boost agriculture production across the region.
“The Barossa and Eden Valley wine industry is a key contributor to the regional and state economy, as well as significant contributor to both the wine and tourism sectors in Australia,” Mr Basham said.
“There are 2,700 people employed in the wine and grape sector in the Barossa and the region accounts for nearly ten per cent of national wine sector jobs.
“We recognise a key constraint to agricultural productivity and growth in the Barossa and Eden Valley is the lack of secure and climate dependent water.
“An additional water supply could be a game changer for the Barossa and Eden Valley region.
“The Government is already investing around $1.5 million to identify private sector investors to deliver recycled water to the Barossa and for SA Water to undertake technical investigations into water solutions for the region.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is currently working with the Commonwealth Government and has been collaborating with local industry in order to progress this vital opportunity.
“We have sought support from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund for a detailed business case.
“Primary industries in the Barossa and Eden Valleys are critical economic drivers for the state, and the region will play a key part in the State Government’s Food, Wine and Agribusiness Sector Plan aimed to increase revenue to $23 billion by 2030.”
South Australian Member for Schubert, Stephan Knoll, said the local community has played an important role in progressing the project.
“Local stakeholders have consistently raised with me that long-term water security is key to ensuring the future growth and productivity of the Barossa and Eden Valley region,” Mr Knoll said.
“South Australia, and the Barossa’s, wine industry is internationally-renowned and an additional water supply will help grow the industry and promote long-term sustainability.”
Liberal Candidate for Schubert, Ashton Hurn, said delivering a long-term water security solution for the region is critical to safeguarding the ongoing productivity of local farmers and growers.
“It’s clear water security is a huge constraint and concern for growers and farmers throughout the Barossa and Eden Valley, and I’m committed to working with them to deliver a solution,” Ms Hurn said.
“Having access to more water will significantly boost productivity for our local wine and agriculture sectors – and importantly, create local jobs.”