$14 million upgrade for the Greater Meander Irrigation Scheme


Farmers from Chudleigh to Carrick are celebrating after Tasmanian Irrigation today announced a $14 million upgrade of the 28,800 megalitre Greater Meander Irrigation Scheme.

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 11,000 ML of high-surety irrigation water being delivered to farmers and reduced costs to irrigators.

The Tasmanian Government has allocated $2 million toward the upgrade of the Meander mini hydro power station, as well as an additional $3.5 million for solar upgrades across a number of other schemes, the Australian Government $5 million toward the Greater Meander augmentation and a further $7 million will be contributed from the sale of new water entitlements.

“This is a fantastic result for landowners in this extraordinarily productive region, as demand for reliable irrigation water continues to grow for berry operations, robotic dairies, seed crops and other high value enterprises,” Mr Kneebone said.

“The upgrade to the Meander mini hydro power station will enable this vital infrastructure to continue to operate for a further 12 years and the solar installations will help reduce the cost of pumping the water to customers. These savings will be passed direct to farmers.”

Tasmanian Irrigation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Kneebone said these works would offset the cost of power and improve efficiency to lower costs to landowners.

“Tasmanian Irrigation sincerely thanks the Tasmanian and Australian Governments for their ongoing commitment to irrigation infrastructure, ensuring we continue to lead the nation in delivering high-surety irrigation water to farmers to enable them to expand, diversify, invest and value add.”

The Greater Meander Irrigation Scheme was commissioned in 2008 and delivers water from the Meander Dam to farmers in the Carrick, Caveside, Chudleigh, Dairy Plains, Deloraine, Dunorlan, Elizabeth Town, Exton, Hagley, Meander, Montana, Osmaston and Westbury areas.

This announcement coincides with National Water Week, an annual initiative organised by the Australian Water Association, which this year focuses on Caring for Water and Country.

Mr Kneebone said Tasmanian Irrigation took great pride in its proactive environmental work to ensure its water delivery and project construction activities had no discernible impact on the environment.

“Every irrigator is required to develop a Farm Water Access Plan, including the new Greater Meander farmers that will now be able to access Tasmanian Irrigation water, to guide the sustainable application of this water and assist with the long-term viability of land for agricultural production,” Mr Kneebone said.

“Tasmanian Irrigation conducts Farm Water Access Plan audits each year, as well as monitors water quality and aquatic health, the presence of native and pest fish, habitat quality for burrowing crayfish and giant freshwater crayfish and to detect any erosion impacts from water releases into receiving waterways. We are delighted to report nil discernible impacts from operations, as well as no incidents of environmental harm, again this year.”

The Greater Meander Irrigation Scheme works are expected to be completed within two years.

Media Release

22 October 2021

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