Building on the success of irrigation development Wed 24 October 2012 Bryan Green Deputy Premier The State Government is seeking further Commonwealth support to build on the success of Tasmania's irrigation development program. Deputy Premier Bryan Green said a comprehensive submission has been prepared for Infrastructure Australia including a request for $130 million to help roll-out the next phase of irrigation schemes across the State. Mr Green said funding available from the Water Infrastructure Fund was now largely committed and that more money was needed before the Government could commit to building all of the projects currently on the drawing board. State and Federal Government's have so far committed $220 million to irrigation expansion across Tasmania. "We have successfully completed five schemes, construction of another two is underway and conditional approval has been given for three more projects," Mr Green said. "We are now working on a number of other schemes so they are shovel ready to give us the best chance of securing additional funding. "The Federal Government acknowledges that Tasmania is leading the nation in the sustainable development of irrigation schemes and I am confident we have a strong case. "Tasmania is held up as an example to the rest of Australia as the way to deliver major water projects. Mr Green has asked Tasmanian Irrigation to develop business cases for the remaining schemes it is investigating over the next 12-months to help ensure the projects would be ready to go. "We are creating jobs and opportunities for the future and the development of major irrigation infrastructure will set up are agricultural industries for generations. "What we are seeing now is a once in a lifetime opportunity, just as we saw with Hydro industrialisation under Eric Reece. "Labor Governments have a long and proud history of building for the future, we did it with hydro schemes and now we're doing it by expanding our irrigation network around Tasmania. "It took a Labor Government to get the Meander Dam built and now we are getting projects up like the Midlands Water Scheme that were once only dreamed of. "The $104 million Midlands Water Scheme is the biggest irrigation project ever undertaken in Tasmania and will create 130 direct jobs during the two years it will take to build. Projects completed since the program began 18 months ago include the Whitemore, Headquarters Road, Sassafras Wesley Vale and Winnaleah and Meander Valley pipelines schemes. Construction is underway on the Midlands Water Scheme and the Lower South Esk Irrigation Scheme while conditional approval has been given to the Kindred North Motton, Upper Ringarooma and South East Irrigation Schemes.