Wa­ter re­lief for farm­ers

Dal­ness Dam com­plete

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - JIM ALOUAT jim.alouat@news.com.au

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.

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