Greater South East Irrigation Scheme- Water Sales Now Open

Water Sales are now open for Tasmania’s largest ever irrigation project – the 38,000 megalitre Greater South East Irrigation Scheme.

Landowners are invited to contractually apply for water entitlements for this $522 million project, which has been designed to deliver reliable and fit-for-purpose water to existing and new irrigators, merge the existing South East Stages One, Two and Three Irrigation Schemes, and eliminate reliance on the potable TasWater supply by sourcing all water from Lake Meadowbank.

Following extensive feedback from landowners, Tasmanian Irrigation has extended the proposed irrigation project to encompass the area surrounding Kempton, as well as Gretna, Jordan River Valley, Brighton, Cambridge, Richmond, Tea Tree, Colebrook, Campania, Sorell, Forcett and Pawleena.

Tasmanian Irrigation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Kneebone said the Greater South East Irrigation Scheme has the potential to increase the region’s water delivery capacity from 7,630 megalitres to 38,000 megalitres of summer water and 12,500 megalitres of winter water across 146,000 hectares.

“South-east irrigators have proven over many years that they realise the value of high-surety irrigation water and we are very excited about launching Water Sales today to provide additional water from a new and reliable water source to underpin further agricultural investment and expansion in the region,” Mr Kneebone said.

“Now is the time for farmers to talk to their family members, financial planners, banks, agronomists, and others to determine how much water they need for today and for future generations.

“It is imperative that landowners commit to this project by applying for water entitlements during the next 12 weeks to ensure the Greater South East Irrigation Scheme progresses to detailed design, business case, permits and approvals, construction and commissioning – provisionally planned for 2026/27.”

The Greater South East Irrigation Scheme is expected to create 474 direct and in-direct jobs, as well as prompt millions of dollars in on-farm investment.

Mr Kneebone encouraged all landholders, irrespective of the current pipeline alignments, to make an offer to purchase water.

“If we don’t receive sufficient applications to reach the Water Sales viability threshold by 2pm on 23 December when Water Sales close, then the project will be at risk of not proceeding,” he said.

Summer water entitlements for the South East have been priced at $3,500 per megalitre, winter water at $1,850 / ML, Jordan River Valley summer water at $2,500 / ML and winter water at $1,750 / ML, Gretna summer water at $1,650 / ML and South East Stage One conversion entitlements at $1,950 / ML.

Tasmanian Irrigation is organising a number of Drop In Days to enable farmers to obtain additional information, ask questions and seek assistance with Water Sales application forms. Further detail on these briefing sessions, as well as application forms, are available at: https://www.tasmanianirrigatio...

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