Irrigation plans

Locals study the proposed dam sites during the Circular Head Irrigation Scheme’s preferred option launch on Friday. Picture: Jelena Potpara.

Water. Farmers gathered at Agritas on Friday to hear about Tasmanian Irrigation’s plans for the region, as the preferred option for the Circular Head Irrigation Scheme was launched.

If funding permits, the 21,442-megalitre scheme will take water from the Welcome, Montagu and Arthur Rivers in periods of high flow, store it in dams and then deliver to participating landholders through a 100-kilometre network of underground pipes via several pump stations.

The launch follows more than three decades of works towards an irrigation plan for the north west, with the specific design based on local landholders’ needs.

Expressions of interest were sought over a three-month period in 2012-13, with 66 local landowners requesting water through the scheme.

Now, they have 30 days to provide feedback on the $60.06 million project; one of five tranche-two schemes across the state.

Minister for Primary Industries and Water Jeremy Rockliff helped launch the scheme on Friday, noting the State Government’s $30 million commitment to the state-wide project, and the promise to work to secure $110 million from the Federal Government.

The scheme will also need private capital from farmers to become a reality, with hopes of operations commencing in three years’ time.

Once Tasmanian Irrigation has received community feedback on the preferred option, water sales will begin, and a business case for the scheme will be developed.

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