Greater South East Irrigation Scheme choose design

Tasmania’s largest irrigation scheme is one step closer with the Preferred Option Design for the Greater South East Irrigation Scheme chosen.

Tasmania’s largest irrigation scheme is another step closer with the release of the Preferred Option Design for the Greater South East Irrigation Scheme.

This 41,000-megalitre irrigation scheme will incorporate the existing South East Stages One, Two and Three and provide additional water with more than 200kms of new pipeline and two additional pump stations being constructed.

The Greater South East Irrigation Scheme, previously known as the South East Integration Project, is a very exciting Tranche Three project designed to improve reliability and provide additional high-surety irrigation water to existing and new irrigators.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to continuing to work in partnership with the Australian Government and landowners to invest in irrigation infrastructure that is the nation’s envy.

Delivering the Greater South East Irrigation Scheme presents an exciting opportunity to expand high-surety irrigation water to new areas of the South Eastern agricultural region and help future-proof against climate change while de-risking industry expansion and investment.

The existing schemes cannot cater for continued growth and are further impacted by the ongoing availability issues and increased costs for the current treated, non-potable water supply. The proposed scheme will increase supply reliability and support significant growth in one of the driest areas in the State. The principal primary production focus is cherries, apples, salad vegetables, wine grapes, stone fruit, lucerne, walnuts and olives.

Once the preferred design option is settled, existing and new irrigators may have the opportunity to expand current operations, diversify into new high-value crops, employ more people, increase rotations and purchase additional land.

What the irrigation scheme means

The Preferred Option Design will deliver irrigation water to landowners around Gretna, Jordan River Valley, Brighton, Cambridge, Richmond, Tea Tree, Colebrook, Campania, Sorell, Forcett, and Pawleena.

Minister for Primary Industries and Water Jo Palmer encouraged interested landowners to provide feedback on the preferred design for Tasmanian Irrigation.

It will enable Tasmanian Irrigation to determine support for the design and demand for the scheme before finalising the design, submitting a business case for funding and progressing approvals and permits.

Landowners will be invited to contractually apply for water entitlements in early August before the scheme’s construction, which is currently scheduled for late 2023.

The Tasmanian Government has contributed $1.55 million towards the scheme’s development, with the Australian Government, through the National Water Grid Authority, contributing $4.7 million.

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