Hop­ing for sec­ond time lucky

Op­ti­mism over irrigation scheme’s sec­ond fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Times News - Tari Jef­fers

MEM­BERS of the South­ern Forests Irrigation Co­op­er­a­tive are al­ready plan­ning a sub­mis­sion for the sec­ond round of the Na­tional Wa­ter In­fras­truc­ture De­vel­op­ment Fund.

The co­op­er­a­tive un­suc­cess­fully ap­plied for $40 mil­lion from the first round of fund­ing, but the Fed­eral Govern­ment asked them to reap­ply with some ad­di­tions to their sub­mis­sion.

The money would have gone to­wards the pro­posed $80 mil­lion South­ern Forests Irrigation Scheme that will pro­vide a sus­tain­able irrigation net­work for grow­ers in the area.

Co­op­er­a­tive chair­man Har­vey Gi­blett said of the 10 sub­mis­sions up for con­sid­er­a­tion, only one was ap­proved and of those re­main­ing, some were asked not to reap­ply.

“We see it as a pos­i­tive they asked us to reap­ply once we had ad­dressed the points they had given us,” Mr Gi­blett said.

“So we’ll be ad­dress­ing those. There’s noth­ing too oner­ous and we’ll be ready to ap­ply be­fore sub­mis­sions close for round two on Septem­ber 21.”

The co­op­er­a­tive was asked for more in­for­ma­tion about its shov­el­ready sta­tus, in­for­ma­tion on tax­a­tion and grant money, en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­provals and the suc­cess­ful meet­ing of the Na­tional Wa­ter In­fras­truc­ture Scheme stan­dards.

The an­nounce­ment for the sec­ond round of fund­ing will be made next Fe­bru­ary.

Mr Gi­blett said the co­op­er­a­tive was qui­etly con­fi­dent about its chances.

“Even if we don’t get the fund­ing, we will still be pur­su­ing the scheme,” he said.

“The State Govern­ment has sup­ported its com­mit­ment for $19 mil­lion and if we didn’t get the na­tional fund­ing, we think the State Govern­ment would help.”

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