Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Former Minister for Water; Mental Health

Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Former Minister for Housing; Racing and Gaming

    Invitations opened to Ord water service providers

    30/11/2009 1:00 AM

    The Department of Water today invited potential irrigation water service providers to submit formal proposals for the initial stage of the Ord Irrigation Expansion Project (OIEP).


    This is the first time a Western Australian Government has engaged in a competitive process to identify such a provider.


    The department is using a request for proposal process to select a preferred proponent and a reserve preferred proponent by March 2010.


    The OIEP project forms one part of the Ord-East Kimberley Development Plan - a comprehensive package of initiatives for the East Kimberley that includes funding from the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program and the Federal Government.


    Water Minister Graham Jacobs said the rigorous process would ensure healthy competition from the water and irrigation services industry.


    “The selection of an efficient water service provider will enable the operation and maintenance of $220million worth of irrigation and supporting infrastructure to service more than 8,000ha of new farmland on the Weaber Plains in the East Kimberley,” Dr Jacobs said.


    “The department is expecting an efficient water supply to be created for 22 new farms with the aim of making the best use of the Lake Argyle water resource while limiting groundwater recharge.


    “Market research conducted by LandCorp shows an interest in potential cropping varieties including sorghum, seed, cotton and perennial trees.


    “We are looking for a provider who can operate and maintain irrigation infrastructure, and provide irrigation and non-potable water services to farmers and landowners in a cost-effective manner while ensuring water is used efficiently.”


    Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the Weaber Plains development would be released in 2011 and included supporting infrastructure with off-farm water supply, drainage, flood protection and roads.


    “The success of the irrigation project will pave the way to open up more land packages in the area,” Mr Grylls said.


    “The East Kimberley is becoming a major hub for agriculture and social development and promises to be a world-class development.”


    Dr Jacobs said an announcement would be made on the successful preferred proponent and reserve preferred proponent following approval of the evaluation panel’s findings.


    The Government would then enter into a negotiation phase with the preferred proponent until about September 2010.


    Potential water service provider applicants can submit proposals at http://www.water.wa.gov.au/ordexpansion.  Submissions close on Tuesday January 19, 2010.


    More information on the Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project is available at http://www.royaltiesforregions.wa.gov.au/ord


    Water Minister's office: 9213 6900

    Regional Development Minister's office: 9213 7000