Swan Valley Irrigation Scheme - Under Development
The Swan Valley Irrigation Scheme (SWAN) is one of five Tranche Two schemes being progressed by Tasmanian Irrigation. On 19 February 2015 the Federal Government announced a $60 million commitment towards the Tranche Two schemes. This funding announcement will be combined with a previous commitment made by the Tasmanian Government of $30 million. The $90 million of public funding available will be used in conjunction with private capital sourced through the sale of water entitlements to build irrigation schemes which have met the necessary criteria.
The initial sale of water entitlements in the SWAN scheme has been completed with the sale period having begun on 2 March with a public launch in the Swansea Town Hall and then closing on 31 March 2015.
In this initial stage of the entitlement sales process water has been made available to only owners and occupiers of land in the proposed irrigation district. The district encompasses the general Swansea area, stretching from the south of Swansea to just north of the Coombend property and includes areas around the Cranbrook village and along the western shore of Moulting Lagoon. A map of the scheme can be downloaded from this website.
Water was available to purchase in the SWAN scheme at $1,500/ per megaliter (ML) with a minimum purchase volume of 10ML required and thereafter in increments of 5ML.
Tasmanian Irrigation (TI) are presently considering all applications received to purchase water in the SWAN. These applications need to be examined on an individual basis to ensure the scheme can physically supply water to the requested connection point within the schemes allocated budget. This process has included the redesigning of various elements of the scheme to ensure the scheme can be built on budget.
It is anticipated the process of considering applications and the necessary scheme redesigns will be completed by June 30th 2015. TI at this stage will then notify all applicants as to the success of their purchase applications.
The 2,000 ML scheme being developed would pump water from the Swan River in periods of higher river flows and store it in a dam adjacent to the river, close to the township of Cranbrook on the Melrose property. This stored water would then be delivered to participating landholders through a delivery network of pipes during the summer irrigation season. The irrigation water delivered would be at a surety level of greater than 95 per cent. The irrigation season will nominally run from 1 September to January 31 each year.
For the project to continue to progress to construction a successful sale of water entitlements will need to have been conducted, all appropriate permits and approvals acquired and a construction contract secured within the allocated budget. Once constructed a period of scheme commissioning will follow and when completed will mean the scheme is operable. Once the scheme is opened a local committee of entitlement holders will continue to work in conjunction with Tasmanian Irrigation to ensure the scheme is operated in a manner which delivers maximum benefit to the local community whilst ensuring all permit and licence conditions are adhered too.
The Swan Valley region on Tasmania's east-coast is a mixed farming area with grazing, irrigated cropping, grape and walnut production the predominate agricultural enterprises. The region has developed as a significant wine production area and offers outstanding prospects for further wine industry developments and other perennial horticultural enterprises.
The area however, has a consistent mild dry climate and without irrigation water, development has stymied. A source of high surety water needs to be secured to attract investment and further encourage high value enterprises into the region. This water source will also help to maximise the production from existing enterprises.
A survey of the majority of landholders between Bicheno and Little Swanport was conducted late 2012 and concluded in February 2013. The survey showed interest from 20 landowners in acquiring 1920ML of water from a scheme in the district.
The survey information was used along with desktop studies to formulate a scheme design which formed the basis of the preferred option document. The scheme's preferred option was launched by Primary Industries and Water Minister Jeremy Rockliff on 29 August, 2014 to a packed Swansea Town Hall. A public comment process was held and feedback was used in the development of a business case for the scheme.
The business case for the scheme was approved by the Tasmanian Government in January 2015 and presents a compelling case for the use of public funds in conjunction with private capital to finance the project.
For further information on the scheme including the sale of water entitlements, please contact the Project Manager - Andy Corbould on 0417 341 141 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Media / Forms / Contracts
- Swan Valley Irrigation District Download PDF (1,004 KB)
- Andy Corbould (Swan Valley Project Manager)
- Scott Williams (Scheme Operator)
- Tim Lyne (Chair, Irrigator Committee)
- Annie Browning (Deputy Chair, Irrigator Committee)
- Nick Burbury (Irrigator Committee)
- Jack Cotton (Irrigator Committee)
- Adam Greenhill (Irrigator Committee)
- Paddy McShane (Irrigator Committee)