Agriculture. Tasmanian Irrigation’s proposed Duck Irrigation Scheme will progress following a unanimous decision by Circular Head Council last week.
A special meeting of councillors was held at the Council Chambers last Thursday (August 25) where the project was tabled.
The scheme will allow Mill Creek dam to store 5200 megalitres of water from Duck River and Mill Creek during the winter months to be distributed to irrigators during summer.
An underground high density polyethylene pipeline with a 100-year design life will flow for 61 kilometres within the Circular Head region, delivering water to scheme participants via the Edith Creek Pump Station or the Smithton Pump Station.
One balance tank will also be installed at each pump station.
The Duck Irrigation Scheme encompasses approximately 130 properties whose owners will have the opportunity to purchase a water entitlement for the project.
At the meeting, Councillor Jan Bishop raised concerns in regard to noise pollution centring from the two proposed pump stations and asked if decibel monitoring could be considered.
Tasmanian Irrigation has indicated that it will undertake ambient noise testing and their own in-house assessment to limit any unreasonable nuisance to nearby residential properties.
Noise nuisance is regulated under Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994.
Rising to move the motion, Cr John Oldaker said the scheme would be an important part of Circular Head’s agricultural future and empathised with residents on the time it had taken to reach this point.
“I understand the frustrations about this scheme, the benefits it will provide to the community [are] something that has been heavily discussed over the years,” he said.
Cr Bishop cited a series of dry summers in her decision to second the motion and support the scheme.
“I can certainly see the benefits this will bring to the community, water is one of the best assets you can have,” she said.
“It is going to be a benefit for the community, but also there must be special consideration of those [surrounding the stations].”
Cr David Woodward said the project would be a positive step toward a bright agricultural future providing the local industry with insurance.
“It’s been on the burner for a couple of years now but it’s great to see [the project] moving forward,” he said.
Mayor Daryl Quilliam agreed the move was the right step forward for the region.
“The whole scheme will be a great thing for the community, there is no doubt about that.”
The Duck Irrigation Scheme is expected to be operating in time for an inaugural irrigation season over the 2018-19 summer.