North-East farmers will boost agricultural production in the region by 50 per cent, thanks to the newly operational Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme.
The scheme, which closes off a successful tranche two for Tasmanian Irrigation, officially delivered its first lot of water to irrigators on Monday.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Bass Liberal MHR Bridget Archer took a tour on Tuesday.
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The scheme was delivered through a public-private investment partnership, with the federal government chipping in $25 million.
The $57.3 million project was also supported by the state government and through private investment from farmers.
Scottsdale farmer Cameron Woord was one of the first to sign up to the scheme, which has been in development for 11 years.
He said while the area was known for relatively secure rainfall, it varies.
"It's been a really good growing season for us this year, but if you were talking to us this time last year we'd have done with the irrigation water then," he said.
The Woords have properties throughout the region, but this particular one has been in the family for a decade. Access to irrigation will allow them to expand their vegetable rotation on other farms.
Five irrigation projects made up tranche two of Tasmania's irrigation expansion, and more are planned under tranche three.
Tasmanian Irrigation chief executive Andrew Kneebone said it was through hard work and perseverance the scheme was completed.
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There were delays for completion due to COVID-10, but it had still met the 2020 time.
"There is no doubt that irrigation infrastructure is a game-changer in Tasmania, and we are extremely thankful to the state and federal governments," he said.
By 2025 Tasmanian Irrigation will manage a portfolio of irrigation infrastructure valued at more than $680 million, which will be capable of delivering 168, 998 megalitres of water.
Mr McCormack said the scheme would assist in growing agricultural production in Tasmania in line with federal government targets.
"The Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme is enabling an increase to irrigated agriculture by around 13,000 hectares, allowing higher value agriculture, including dairy," he said.
"By growing our agricultural production, we are supporting regional Australian livelihoods, creating jobs and contributing to regional job recovery.
Tasmanian Irrigation has secured funding for five new projects in tranche three of the expansion, including Don, Northern Midlands, Fingal, Tamar Valley and Sassafras.