Dam good news for Tasmanian irrigators

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack today visited the site of the recently built Camden Rivulet Dam in north-eastern Tasmania—a key component of the Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme.

Mr McCormack said the dam was able to hold 9,300 megalitres of water and was already more than half full.

“The Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme remains on track to deliver much-needed, reliable irrigation water to local irrigators and farmers from February 2020,” Mr McCormack said.

“Regional communities across the country are crying out for new dams. Now is the time to start building them. The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government has a strong track record when it comes to water infrastructure and we'll continue that by getting shovels in the ground on projects such as this one.

“We want to build dams, weirs, pipelines and water infrastructure to drought-proof regional Australia into the future, because it will rain again and when it does, we will be ready.

“We know if you add water you can grow agriculture and that's exactly what's happening here in Scottsdale.

“Water is our most precious resource which is why we're establishing the National Water Grid Authority to take the petty politics out of building dams and getting on with the job people expect us to do.

“I'm delighted the Hodgman Liberal Government and Scottdale irrigators support the need to build water infrastructure which is so vital to Australians and I encourage other states to join us.”

Federal Member for Bass Bridget Archer said the Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme would have ongoing benefits for the region.

“Once complete, the Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme will have employed up to 60 workers during construction and is expected to create a further 45 full-time equivalent local jobs on farms and in support services,” Ms Archer said.

“Access to reliable irrigation water is set to benefit more than 80 irrigators across more than a hundred properties.”

Jane Howlett, Tasmanian Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development, said the Scheme would be significant for the area.

“Scottsdale's $57.3 million irrigation scheme is a game changer for this region, enabling farmers to diversify, value add and expand their existing farming operations, driving local investment and creating long-term jobs,” Ms Howlett said.

“The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to delivering irrigation, which is critical to meeting our target to increase the farm gate value of Tasmania's agricultural sector to $10 billion a year by 2050.

“Tasmanian Irrigation has successfully delivered 14 irrigation schemes around the State in partnership with farmers and the Scottsdale scheme will be the fifteenth.

“Thanks to $170 million in joint funding from the Hodgman and Morrison McCormack Governments into our Pipeline to Prosperity—Tranche 3 Irrigation program, a further five new schemes are in development.”

Work on the Camden Rivulet Dam started in October 2018 and finished in July 2019. The dam has an embankment length of 580 metres, is 19 metres high and its surface area at full supply is 198 hectares.

In addition to the Camden Rivulet Dam, the Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme includes a mini-hydro power station, a one megawatt pump station on the St Patricks River, 92 kilometres of pipeline and eight kilometres of power line.

The $57.3 million Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme is being funded through a $25.27 million commitment by the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government, a $20 million commitment from the Tasmanian Government and $12.03 million from irrigators.