Joint media release: Federal water funding boost flows for Tassie farmers

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
Brian Mitchell MP, Federal Member for Lyons
Senator for Tasmania, Senator Anne Urquhart
Senator for Tasmania, Senator Helen Polley

More Tasmanian farmers will now be able to secure the water they need to expand the amount of irrigated agriculture in the region, thanks to an additional $100 million investment from the Federal Labor Government for five existing irrigation projects across the state.

Once complete, this Pipeline to Prosperity investment will improve water security across the state.

Collectively, the projects will secure around 50 gigalitres of water annually through installing five modern, large-scale, efficient water storage and distribution networks (including underground pipeline networks and pumping stations) across regional and remote Tasmania.

The five Tasmanian Pipeline to Prosperity Tranche 3: Phase 1 funded projects include:

  • Don Irrigation Scheme
  • Northern Midlands Irrigation Scheme
  • Tamar Irrigation Scheme
  • Fingal Irrigation Scheme
  • Sassafras Wesley Vale Augmentation

The additional Tranche 3 funding brings the Australian Government’s total commitment to Tasmania’s Pipeline to Prosperity projects to $213.7 million.

The five construction projects include a mix of large-scale water storage and distribution networks.

Collectively, these projects will deliver more certainty to agriculture across Tasmania, particularly in the face of a changing climate.

Water supplied through these schemes is expected to supply more than 124,000 hectares of irrigable land.

The Don Irrigation Scheme commenced construction in May 2022 and is due to be completed in late 2023. Planning and design of the remaining schemes is underway with construction expected to start next year following completion of the business cases.

The Tranche 3 projects are jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments and delivered in partnership with Tasmanian Irrigation.

Quotes from the Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP:

“The Australian Government is proudly delivering on our election promise to Tasmania, by committing a $100 million funding boost towards Tranche 3 of Tasmania’s Pipeline to Prosperity projects.

“We know how critical water is, especially for our farmers, and this investment delivers real, on-the-ground benefits directly to our Tassie farmers by providing stronger year-round access to water, and strengthening resilience to climate change.

“The Pipeline to Prosperity projects will help to unlock even more agricultural opportunities in the regions, and allow Tasmania to continue to flourish now and into the future.

“The Australian Government is leading from the front in the face of climate change, and making smart, evidence-based investments in long term water security across the nation.”

Quotes from Federal Member for Lyons, Brian Mitchell MP:

“The Australian Government’s investment in Tasmanian irrigation continues to transform our state’s agricultural landscape, creating value for farmers and new economic opportunities for regional communities.

"These Tranche 3 projects mean more Tasmanian farmers can gain reliable access to the world’s cleanest water so they can grow more of the world’s best produce.”

Quotes from Senator for Tasmania, Senator Anne Urquhart:

“The Labor initiative of developing these irrigation schemes is now continuing with these Tranche 3 projects going ahead.

"The benefits to the agriculture sector right across the state will be huge, and I am particularly pleased for my patch. We are building a better Braddon.”

Quotes from Senator for Tasmania, Senator Helen Polley:

“Tranche 3 projects will ensure greater productivity and more secure jobs for our agriculture sector in Tasmania.

"The Albanese Government is supporting our primary producers to expand their businesses and ensure world’s best product.”