22 October 2021

The Morrison and Gutwein governments are delivering a $14 million upgrade to the Greater Meander Irrigation Scheme Augmentation that will benefit farmers from Chudleigh to Carrick.

The upgrades will produce more than 11,000 ML of additional, high-surety irrigation water to the 28,800 ML Greater Meander Scheme that will also deliver reduced costs to irrigators and farmers.

The Morrison Government is delivering $5 million of federal funding for the scheme as part of the $108 million National Water Grid Connections funding pathway.

Assistant Minister for Industry Development and Senator for Tasmania Jonno Duniam said the National Water Grid Connections is about delivering short-term economic stimulus through small-scale projects.

“This important project will convert open supply channels to new and extended pipelines,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“This will help to provide over 11,000 ML of additional water for irrigators in the area, which will deliver huge benefits for agriculture in this region.

“This is another example of the Morrison Government’s $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund delivering tangible outcomes on the ground, right here in Tasmania.

“It is part of a $20 million federal commitment under this funding pathway for Tasmanian projects to improve water reliability and efficiency across the state.”

The Tasmanian Government has allocated $2 million toward the upgrade of the Meander mini-hydro power station along with an additional $3.5 million for solar upgrades across number of other schemes and a further $7 million will be contributed from the sale of new water entitlements.

Tasmanian Primary Industries and Water Minister Guy Barnett said the Tasmanian Liberal Government welcomes federal funding for water projects in Tasmania under the National Water Grid Connections funding pathway initiative.

“The Tasmanian Government is on track to deliver our ambitious target to grow the farm gate value of agriculture to 10 billion by 2050 and irrigation is an integral part of that strategy.

“Water is one of Tasmania’s natural advantages and the Tasmanian Government is delivering contemporary water management practices to support agriculture, renewable energy and jobs in regional communities.

“The Greater Meander Scheme is a great example of the Tasmanian and Australian Governments partnering with farmers to deliver water for both renewable energy, giving great water surety to farmers and also contributing to better river health,” Minister Barnett said.

The works, including pipeline extensions, converting riparian flow to piped water, intake screen and pump upgrades and the installation of solar power plants to pump stations, will result in an additional high-surety irrigation water being delivered to farmers and reduced costs to irrigators.