Sassafras Wesley Vale Irrigation Scheme Augmentation Preferred Option Design launched today

NEW WATER TO CREATE JOBS AND INVESTMENT IN NORTH WEST

An expansion and refurbishment of the Sassafras Wesley Vale Irrigation Scheme will more than double the capacity of the scheme, create an estimated 120 jobs and underpin $28.3 million in on-farm investment.

Tasmanian Irrigation today launched the Preferred Option Design for the $62.75 million Sassafras Wesley Vale Irrigation Scheme Augmentation, inviting landowners to provide feedback on the design as part of a consultation phase open until 4 January 2022.

The augmentation follows a similar alignment to the existing scheme. Water will be sourced from the Mersey River at an upgraded Great Bend pump station and backed up by releases from Parangana Dam. Four additional boost pump stations will be constructed, 92km of new and refurbished pipeline will be installed, a replacement two-megalitre reservoir will be built and 70 property outlets will be replaced.

Tasmanian Irrigation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Kneebone thanked all landowners in the Sassafras and Wesley Vale areas for their commitment to expanding the existing scheme.

“When we constructed the scheme in 2012, there was sufficient demand to build a 5,660 megalitre irrigation scheme,” Mr Kneebone said. “Now, many of these irrigators want additional water and others are seeking new access points to secure Tasmanian Irrigation water for the first time, enabling us to plan an augmentation that will deliver a total of 13,686 megalitres to the region.

“Farmers are telling us that they want to plant additional hectares of high-value vegetables, expand dairies, increase stock numbers and diversify into new enterprises, as well as employ more workers, which will be made possible through this scheme expansion.

“There is no doubt that the public / private funding model continues to be a game changer for Tasmania, with 15 new irrigation schemes constructed and a further 10 projects being advanced.”

The scheme delivers water with an average annual reliability of 95 per cent to farmers in the Sassafras, Harford, Thirlstane, Moriarty, Wesley Vale, Northdown, Pardoe and East Devonport areas of North West Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Government has committed $18.34 million to the Sassafras Wesley Vale Augmentation, the Australian Government $30.57 million and landowners $13.81 million. Water Sales will open in January 2022, construction is scheduled to commence in October 2023 and the first full irrigation season is expected in 2025/26.

The Sassafras Wesley Vale Irrigation Scheme Augmentation Preferred Option Design can be accessed at www.tasmanianirrigation.com.au.

Media Release

17 November 2021

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