Water is set to flow from the North Esk Irrigation Scheme in the new year after the completion of the Dalness Dam.
It would return an estimated $114 million each year to the agriculture sector, and our economy more broadly.Primary Industries and Water Minister Guy Barnett
The 5400 megalitre dam was constructed as part of Tasmanian Irrigation’s infrastructure program.
The North Esk Irrigation Scheme is one of five planned Tranche Two irrigation schemes the state government plans to deliver in order to create 28,000 megalitres of new water entitlements in the Southern Highlands, Swan, Duck, Scottsdale and North Esk districts.
Construction on the Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme began earlier in the year.
More than $160 million is being invested in the schemes through state and federal governments, with farmers also contributing to costs. Primary Industries and Water Minister Guy Barnett said the infrastructure would be able to accommodate the state’s needs going forward.
“Providing more water resources allows farmers to not only invest in higher value crops and improve farm productivity, but also provides water certainty at critical growth times, and mitigates against dry seasons,” he said.
“The continued development of our water resources is central to our Agri Food Plan and our target to grow the value of agricultural sector to $10 billion per year by 2050.
“Additional irrigation also headlines Tasmania’s future infrastructure priorities with the Pipeline to Prosperity (Tranche 3) irrigation program recently submitted to Infrastructure Australia.”
Pipeline to Prosperity includes another 10 potential irrigation schemes statewide with a capital cost of up to $496 million.
The state government has already committed $70 million toward the third tranche of irrigation schemes. Mr Barnett said the schemes would have a range of benefits for the state.
“It would return an estimated $114 million each year to the agriculture sector, and our economy more broadly,” he said.
“There would also be an ongoing employment stimulus of over 3900 direct and indirect full-time equivalents, in addition to the construction jobs.
“These investments are possible due to our strong financial management.”