Don Irrigation Scheme About To Commence Construction

Pipes are being manufactured and dirt is about to be turned as on-ground works commence to construct the game-changing 4,750-megalitre Don Irrigation Scheme.

Don, the first of 10 Tranche Three irrigation projects currently being designed and developed by Tasmanian Irrigation, will provide high-surety irrigation water to landowners in the Don, Lillico, Forth, Forthside, Melrose, Lower Barrington, Barrington, Sheffield and West Kentish areas.

Contractors have just been appointed to supply and lay 53kms of pipeline, and preferred contractors announced to build three pump stations and two balance tanks.

Tasmanian Irrigation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Kneebone said a competitive tendering process had resulted in Wynyard-based company Zezt being contracted to supply the pipe. Tasmanian company Hazell Bros has been confirmed as the preferred tenderer to construct the pipeline, as has Derwent Park-based Netco Pumps to supply the pumps and Fulton Hogan to build two balance tanks and three pump stations – two at Barrington and one at Forth.

“The Don Irrigation Scheme is another fantastic example of the Tasmanian and Australian Governments working cooperatively and collaboratively with private landowners to deliver infrastructure that will create jobs and give farmers the confidence to invest, value add, diversify and expand,” Mr Kneebone said.

“Tasmanian Irrigation sincerely thanks landowners in the greater Don area for investing in this project, underpinning its viability to progress through final design, approvals and now to construction.

“This region is highly regarded as one of Australia’s most productive vegetable producing areas and, with the addition of 95 per cent average annual reliability irrigation water, the region’s brand, reputation and productivity will be further enhanced.”

The Business case for the Don Irrigation Scheme estimated approximately 60 jobs will be created during construction and a further 48 direct and indirect jobs once the scheme is operational. The project is also expected to return a $104.52 million economic benefit to the community.

Water will be delivered over a 180-day irrigation season and a further 4,750 megalitres of winter water will be made available.

Mr Kneebone said limited water remained for purchase so encouraged landowners to reach out to Tasmanian Irrigation if they wished to secure irrigation water from this scheme.

“Construction is expected to be completed in 2023, so the first full water delivery season is forecast for the 2023/24 summer, enabling farmers to complete on-farm drainage and pivot installations ready for this ‘liquid gold’ to be delivered.”

Media Release

27 March 2022

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