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Overwhelming support for Southern Forests irrigation scheme

For more information, contact Mia Davies (Leader | Member for Central Wheatbelt).

  • Increased water availability for new irrigated areas and expand existing ones
  • Provide a boost to investment, a strengthened economy and creation of jobs 

A proposed irrigation scheme for the Southern Forests area is another step closer after receiving overwhelming support from local growers through a formal Letter of Intent process.

Water Minister Mia Davies said the process - which closed last month - far exceeded expectations, with 68 submissions received, representing a total of 92 properties being potentially serviced by an irrigation scheme, requiring a volume of 10.3 gigalitres. 

Ms Davies said this was 50 per cent above the initial target.

"The $3.6 million Water for Food Southern Forests water futures project is investigating the potential for an irrigation scheme in the Warren-Donnelly and Southern Blackwood districts, to identify new water supply options and increase availability for the development of new irrigated areas and to expand existing ones," she said.

"Now that the demand has been identified and the locations of potential subscribers have been mapped out, a scheme will be designed by experts from Tasmanian Irrigation Pty Ltd and a business case will be developed."

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the regional benefits of the project included increased investment, a strengthened economy and the creation of sustainable job opportunities.

"It is envisaged a scheme will involve co-investment by the Government and private sectors, with the sale of water entitlements comprising the private contribution," Mr Redman said.

"This is an exciting opportunity to transform the current use of irrigation water in the Warren-Donnelly area and enable the expansion of the irrigated district to those areas that currently have limited options."

Fact File

  • It is expected water will be distributed via about 100km of pipeline and pumped with about four pump stations, depending on a final scheme design
  • At this stage, irrigation rights in the scheme area are likely to be provided at 95% reliability, taking into account climate change modelling