Hon Ken Baston MLC

Hon Ken Baston MLC

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

Hon Terry Redman MLA

Hon Terry Redman MLA

Former Minister for Regional Development; Lands; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development

    Gascoyne horticulture expansion on track

    19/06/2015 7:50 AM
    • Water drilling program identifies suitable water for agriculture

    A drilling program to identify suitable water to expand the Carnarvon irrigation area has been completed, ahead of time and within budget.


    Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston announced today that 35 high yielding production bores had been installed with a suitable quality of water for agriculture, as part of the Gascoyne Food Bowl project, made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program.


    The Minister said the process had been expedited using airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey technology.


    "Over the past 10 months, 120 exploration bores were drilled in the northern borefield from which 35 production bores were identified," Mr Baston said.


    "This is an impressive result, with the use of AEM technology effectively doubling the success rate for locating production bores and accelerating the drilling and testing process."


    Pumping tests confirmed that many of the 35 bores have above average yield compared with existing bores in the area.


    Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the $25 million Royalties for Regions initiative would provide a great stimulus to the region and underpin efforts to capture new market opportunities for local produce.


    "It is pleasing to see Royalties for Regions continues to help build a stronger economy and a better quality of life in our State's regional areas through the delivery of key infrastructure projects such as this," Mr Redman said.


    The new bore field will be electrified, as was the old bore field earlier this year, to provide a more reliable and cost efficient pumping process. 


    The final phase of the initiative is to complete the electrification, install a pipeline and implement a land release process.  A total of 600 hectares of land has already been identified as part of a long term plan to release more land for expansion.


    Fact File

    • The Gascoyne supplies about 40,000 tonnes per annum of horticultural produce to WA's domestic market, worth $100 million in 2012
    • The drilling process was completed two months ahead of schedule, despite interruptions from Cyclone Olwyn
    • Electrification of the northern borefield is due to start by the end of the month
    • For more information, visit Bigger Picture - Regions

    Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 5400

    Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700