Wa­ter in­vest­ment ramps up

Tasmanian Country - - WATER MANAGEMENT -

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.

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