Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

17 February 2020

Guy Barnett, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Irrigation benefits to flow for South East

The Tasmanian majority Liberal Government is working to grow the value of Tasmanian agriculture to $10 billion by 2050, and extending the state’s irrigation capacity is key to achieving this.

Today I joined Tasmanian Irrigation at Pooley Wines, in the Coal River Valley, to outline the South East Interim Solution and the next steps in the South East Integration Project.

The South East Interim Solution will involve stages two and three of the South East Irrigation Schemes bypassing the TasWater system as the primary water source, and instead extracting irrigation water from the River Derwent.

This will ensure a reliable water supply for current irrigators and farmers so they can continue to diversify, value add and expand their existing farming operations. It also makes available an additional 30 megalitres of treated water per day for households in Southern Tasmania.

The longer term South East Integration Project is one of the $496 million tranche three, Pipeline to Prosperity initiatives that will see the augmentation of the current South East Irrigation scheme’s stages 1, 2 and 3, while meeting increased demand for irrigation water.

The Tranche Three irrigation projects (10 in total) are expected to deliver up to 2,600 full-time jobs and an additional $150 million in on-farm private investment, as almost 78,000 megalitres of water is delivered via 479km of pipeline, seven dams, 23 pump stations and four power stations.

Congratulations to Tasmanian Irrigation for its innovation and commitment to working with South East irrigators to develop an interim solution for the existing 251 irrigators, as well as a long-term project that will benefit more than 600 landowners.

There is no doubt the vast range of food and beverages, being produced in South East Tasmania, such as wine, berries, lettuce, cherries, stone fruit and nuts, are contributing to the state’s global reputation for premium produce.

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