Water investment ramps up
THE Federal Government says its investment in infrastructure is helping Tasmania build a competitive advantage.
The National Water Infrastructure Development Fund will deliver an extra $500 million for water infrastructure, including in Tasmania.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck, said the aim was to help farmers expand their businesses.
“Irrigation infrastructure has been transformative for farmers right across Tasmania and access to new resources will provide expanded export opportunities,” Senator Colbeck said.
“Tasmania has a competitive advantage because we are one of the only areas in Australia where we are actively developing water resources.”
He said this year the Government, together with local irrigators and the State Government, delivered funding for the $57.3 million Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme.
“For some farmers in that region it has given them the opportunity to double their herds because the right amount of water at the right time provides the certainty they need to invest and grow.”
He said the Duck River scheme in Circular Head was vital for that region’s cropping and grazing operations and had received $15.8 million from Canberra.
“The transformative effect of irrigation is seen most starkly in the Midlands, where irrigation has reinvigorated the area and been a major contributing factor to the strong growth of our exports.”
He said the fund’s expansion to more than $1 billion and an existing $2 billion water-infrastructure loan program meant more than $3 billion was available from the Federal Government to support states and territories to build new water infrastructure.