Expansion of irrigation opportunities in North East Fri 6 July 2012 Bryan Green Deputy Premier Geoff Lyons Federal Member for Bass Download hi-res version Download hi-res version The Deputy Premier Bryan Green and Federal Member for Bass Geoff Lyons today officially opened the expanded Winnaleah Irrigation Scheme in Tasmania's North East which doubles the amount of reliable water available to local farmers. The $10.8 million project is the fourth major irrigation development to be completed as the roll-out of major schemes continues across the State. "It is projects like this that will underpin investment and growth in our agricultural sector for decades to come," Mr Green said. "The irrigation developments we are seeing right now are providing jobs for Tasmanians, giving farmers the confidence to invest and will have significant economic benefits for rural communities." Mr Green said more than 20 Winnaleah landholders had bought into the expanded scheme investing well over $3 million towards the capital costs. The project included refurbishment of the Frome dam and construction of a 10km supply pipeline to connect to the existing irrigation network with a further 5 km of branch lines. "The additional water is expected to be used mainly for dairy production to meet growing demand in the sector." "The Headquarters Road dam near Scottsdale is now also up and running and we want to work with the North East community to facilitate further irrigation opportunities." Mr Green said there were now six major schemes either complete or under construction and a further four at various stages of development around Tasmania. "This includes the $104 million Midlands scheme which is the largest irrigation project ever undertaken in Tasmania," Mr Green said. Mr Lyons said the schemes were part of a $400 million investment in irrigation being delivered by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments in partnership with the private sector. "The irrigation development strategy is a key part of providing new economic opportunities for regional areas like the North East and Tasmania as a whole," Mr Lyons said. "It is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when both Federal and State Governments and the private sector work together," Mr Lyons said. "Water surety is the key to capitalising on the rich diversity of farming in the North-East and it's great to see projects like this come to fruition." Mr Lyons said Tasmania was leading the nation in the sustainable development of its water resources and the Federal Government was committed to the further delivery of irrigation projects. "The irrigation development we are seeing is supporting the growth of food production, providing significant benefits for regional and rural communities and sustaining jobs," Mr Lyons said.