12 November, 2020
Guy Barnett MP
2020-21 Budget: Nation-leading irrigation investment creating jobs for Tasmania
The 2020-21 State Budget is investing in irrigation infrastructure across our state to create jobs in our regional areas and expand farm production to meet the growing demand for Tasmania’s premium produce.
The Budget includes almost $30 million to continue our nation-leading investment into irrigation across the State.
This includes $15.9 million for the South East Irrigation Scheme to help ensure a reliable water supply for current irrigators and farmers in this region so they can continue to diversify, value add and expand their existing farming operations.
There is also $13.8 million for Tasmania Irrigation to deliver water infrastructure across Tasmania, continuing our ongoing commitment to transform Tasmanian agriculture and create jobs in our regional areas.
There is no doubt that water is liquid gold and this investment will complement the sixteen new irrigation schemes already delivered by this Government.
Our investment is allowing thousands of farmers to expand their planted areas to high-value crops, increase rotations, boost yields and diversify into new enterprises, such as wine grapes, leafy-green vegetables and berries.
Pleasingly, there has also been a very positive response to the Expressions of Interest process for the first five Tranche Three projects, with construction on the Don Irrigation scheme set to commence by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Agriculture is the cornerstone of the Tasmanian economy, which is why the State and Commonwealth Governments are jointly investing $185 million to deliver irrigation infrastructure to support rural and regional Tasmania, creating jobs and expanding farm production to meet the growing demand for our premium produce.
When completed, our 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.
This is a Budget for our times and this investment confirms we are creating the jobs and providing the certainty our community needs as we continue to recover and rebuild a stronger Tasmania.