Water relief for farmers
Dalness Dam complete
THE completion of the 5400 megalitre Dalness Dam in the state’s North will bring welcome relief to Tasmanian irrigators, state farming boss Wayne Johnston says.
Primary Industries and Water Minister Guy Barnett yesterday announced the completion of the Dalness Dam, near Launceston, with water to flow next year for the North Esk Irrigation Scheme.
The Government says it’s one of five Tranche 2 irrigation schemes it has delivered, or is in the process of delivering, to supply farmers with reliable water.
“More than $160 million is invested by state and federal governments and farmers in the five Tranche 2 irrigation schemes creating 28,000 megalitres of new water entitlements in the Southern Highlands, Swan, Duck, Scottsdale and North Esk districts,” Mr Barnett said.
Mr Johnston, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association president, congratulated the State Government for continuing with its bid to droughtproof Tasmania.
He said the completion of the dam was great for agriculture and the state’s economy.
“We just have to look at what’s happening on the mainland to know we need to put the time and effort into our irrigation schemes,” Mr Johnston said.
Mr Johnston said overall Tasmanian farmers were doing well, with the latest AgriFood scorecard showing primary industries had recovered from the devastating 2016 floods.
The 2016-17 report measures the value and final market destinations of the state’s agriculture production, which recorded a total gross value of agriculture at $1.47 billion.
But Mr Johnston said farmers on the East Coast were struggling due to a lack of rain.
Mr Barnett said Tasmania’s future infrastructure priorities with the Pipeline to Prosperity (Tranche 3) irrigation program had been recently submitted to Infrastructure Australia.
“Pipeline to Prosperity includes another 10 potential irrigation schemes statewide with a capital cost of up to $496 million,” he said.
READY: Tasmanian Irrigation chair Sam Hogg, left, Minister Guy Barnett and irrigator Michael Chilvers.