Team buoyed by fund­ing

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Front Page - Tari Jef­fers

A Fed­eral Govern­ment in­jec­tion of $1 mil­lion was a “bolt out of the blue” for the team be­hind the pro­posed South­ern Forests Ir­ri­ga­tion Scheme, which aims se­cure 15 gi­gal­itres of wa­ter for grow­ers.

Mon­day’s an­nounce­ment fol­lows Act­ing Prime Min­is­ter Michael McCor­mack’s visit to the Man­jimup re­gion in Oc­to­ber for the Na­tion­als WA State Con­fer­ence.

The fund­ing will be used to fi­nalise reg­u­la­tory ap­provals needed for the project to progress to­wards con­struc­tion.

Scheme chair­man Har­vey Gi­blett said there had been no ex­pec­ta­tion of the fund­ing fol­low­ing a meet­ing with Mr McCor­mack dur­ing his visit.

“The in­di­ca­tion of sup­port is just as good as the fund­ing,” he said.

“It gives vin­di­ca­tion in our be­lief of the scheme and sup­ports all the grow­ers who have com­mit­ted to the scheme. The longer some­thing takes, the more doubt there is, but this gives us con­fi­dence.”

Mr Gi­blett said he was also pleased about the news of the $1.3 bil­lion top up to the Na­tional Wa­ter In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Fund, which pro­vided the scheme a greater op­por­tu­nity once the ap­pli­ca­tion for $40 mil­lion was ready.

O’Con­nor MHR Rick Wil­son said he was thrilled with the an­nounce­ment fol­low­ing months of cam­paign­ing to min­is­ters to se­cure fund­ing for the “vi­tal project”.

“If con­structed, the South­ern Forests Ir­ri­ga­tion Scheme will in­crease wa­ter avail­abil­ity to our job-pro­duc­ing re­gional in­dus­tries and cre­ate up to 150 direct jobs, 75 in­di­rect jobs and up to 125 con­struc­tion jobs dur­ing the es­ti­mated two-year con­struc­tion pe­riod,” he said.

Mr McCor­mack said wa­ter was the lifeblood of com­mu­ni­ties and crit­i­cal to empowering so­cial and eco­nomic sta­bil­ity and driv­ing growth and ex­pan­sion.

“The $1 mil­lion we have com­mit­ted to co-fund the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the scheme fea­si­bil­ity study fur­ther demon­strates that we are get­ting on with the job of sup­port­ing com­mu­ni­ties to work with State and Ter­ri­tory gov­ern­ments to iden­tify, plan and build new wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture,” he said.

War­ren-Black­wood MLA Terry Red­man wel­comed the an­nounce­ment and said it was a step in the right di­rec­tion for the scheme.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.