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Delivering water security for the future of Tasmanian agriculture

Work has commenced on a $30 million irrigation project in Circular Head, to deliver greater water security to irrigators in the region and support agricultural productivity, investment and growth.

Federal Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, Tasmanian Deputy Premier and Federal Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff, and Tasmanian Senator Jonathon Duniam said the Duck Irrigation Scheme is on track for delivery, with the Coalition and Tasmanian Governments signing off on the project over the Christmas break.

“Day after day, the Federal Government is delivering on its commitment to build the water security needed for economic growth, strong regional communities, and expansion of our agricultural industries right across the country,” Minister Joyce said.

“The Duck Irrigation Scheme will deliver 5200 ML of high security irrigation water to the Circular Head Region, providing irrigators with reliable access to water to support dairy production, as well as production of crops like potatoes, onions and carrots.

“We are pleased to contribute $15.8 million to the Duck Irrigation Scheme and I commend the local irrigators who, with the Tasmanian Government, are co-investing over $14 million in the project.”

Federal Minister Rockliff said the new scheme would help support economic growth and jobs in Tasmania’s north-west region.

“This important infrastructure project will involve construction of a 6000 ML dam at Mill Creek, two new pump stations and pipeline to distribute water to farmers in the lrishtown, Mella, Forrest and Smithton districts,” Minister Rockliff said.

“Expanding the state-wide irrigation network is a key part of the Tasmanian Government’s Sustainable AgriFood Plan and our vision to grow the value of our agricultural industry 10-fold to $10 billion by 2050.

“We know that water security improves farmer’s bottom-lines and gives confidence to invest on-farm and chase new markets and this is essential as tariffs into Asia ease and new markets are established.”

Tasmanian Senator Jonathon Duniam, who represented the Federal Government at the official launch in Forest, said the Duck Irrigation Scheme is part of the Federal Government’s $60 million commitment to Tasmanian Irrigation Tranche II projects, which also included $25 million for the Swan Valley and Southern Highlands Irrigation Schemes.

“With the right infrastructure in the right place, Tasmania could be a real powerhouse for irrigated agricultural production. The irrigation schemes delivered so far have unlocked real potential in Tasmania’s primary production and we are already seeing the benefits of these investments,” Senator Duniam said.

“There is room for further growth and the Federal Government has committed $1.78 million to fast-track a feasibility study into potential new areas for developing irrigation schemes in Tasmania.”

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