The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) today welcomed another milestone in the roll out of major irrigation schemes across Tasmania.
Jan Davis, TFGA Chief Executive Officer, said that the opening of the $14.8 million Lower South Esk Irrigation Scheme will prove to be a boon for farmers.
“Reliable supplies of water are key to the continued expansion of agriculture in Tasmania. The Lower South Esk Irrigation Scheme has been completed in time to deliver water for the start of the coming irrigation season,” Ms Davis said.
“The Scheme will open a range of new opportunities for farmers in the Northern Midlands area from Longford to Conara. Farmers have recognised this, and they have invested more than $6.2 million of their own money to buy water from the scheme,” she added.
A 6000 mega litre Milford Dam near Conara will hold water from the South Esk River and this will be and piped across an irrigable area of more than 15,400 hectares.
The Lower South Esk Irrigation Scheme is the fifth project to be completed under a state-wide irrigation development program. The schemes are being jointly funded by farmers in partnership with the state and federal governments. Over the next few years, the plan is to increase the area of irrigated farm land in Tasmania by around 40%.
“Agriculture is one of the key economic drivers for the state. This investment in new irrigation infrastructure will underpin continued expansion and growth of Tasmania’s agricultural sector; and deliver resilient rural communities and jobs growth for decades to come,” according to Ms Davis.
TFGA chief executive Jan Davis