Water sales open for 11,000-megalitre Greater Meander Irrigation Scheme Augmentation

Jo Palmer,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Jonno Duniam, Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries and Liberal Senator for Tasmania,

Water sales for the augmentation of the Greater Meander Irrigation District have officially opened.

An additional 11,000 megalitres of high-surety irrigation water is up for grabs, with the Meander Dam already providing 28,800 ML to farmers.

Water entitlements for the original Meander Valley Irrigation Scheme, built in 2007, are fully subscribed, and farmers have been requesting additional water for many years to allow them to diversify and increase productivity

The augmentation is being progressed after increased demand from farmers for additional water and will further transform this highly productive region, allowing farmers to achieve new benchmarks of excellence.

It has been designed to upgrade pump intakes, extend existing pipelines, construct new pipelines and renew the Cheshunt drainage channel, resulting in improved water allocation reliability, increased water allocation licences and reduced maintenance costs.

For the first time, it will allow water to be delivered to an area of prime agricultural land located north-east of the Bass Highway near Deloraine, providing new opportunities for those accessing Tasmanian Irrigation water for the first time.

For the next six weeks, farmers can contractually apply for water entitlements, enabling Tasmanian Irrigation to determine the exact demand from landowners.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government continues to invest in irrigation and water surety to support the State’s booming agriculture sector.

This scheme is being delivered in partnership with the Tasmanian Government ($5.5 million), the Federal Liberal Government($5 million) and landowners.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries and Liberal Senator for Tasmania Jonno Duniam said that this irrigation scheme was critical for increasing productivity, profitability and creating agricultural jobs in the region.

“Investment in infrastructure projects like this one is a key part of the Liberals’ plan for growing the Tasmanian economy and creating more jobs in our primary industries,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“These investments are only made possible by having a strong economy, and it is great to see this partnership between the Tasmanian and Federal governments securing the future for local agricultural producers and landowners.”

The Tasmanian Government acknowledges a significant portion of irrigation scheme costs for farmers is energy, which is why we are investing $2 million toward the upgrade of the Meander mini-hydro power station and a further $3.5 million for solar upgrades across number of irrigation schemes.

The solar panels will generate power, which will reduce the operating costs of the schemes – with savings passed on to farmers.

Installing renewable energy systems to existing irrigation schemes is another example of the Tasmanian Government working with farmers to deliver water at a reduced cost, providing greater water surety and contributing to better river health.

/Public Release. View in full here.