- Developing an industry-led irrigation scheme in the South-West
- Expanding irrigated agriculture to boost productivity, jobs and exports
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman has announced a $19 million funding boost from the Liberal National Government's Royalties for Regions to further develop an irrigation scheme around Manjimup and Pemberton.
This investment builds on the $3.6 million Southern Forests Water Futures project and will substantially increase water security and horticultural opportunities in the region.
Speaking at today's launch in Manjimup, Mr Redman said the Southern Forests area was one of the most significant horticultural areas in the southern half of the State generating an estimated $138 million in 2013.
"Based on the high level of grower demand, the proposed irrigation scheme will cost an estimated $80 million and involve the construction of a new 15 gigalitre dam, pipeline and pumping infrastructure," Mr Redman said.
"The scheme would allow the capture of water in winter, to be redistributed in winter and summer, to sites that currently do not have access to sufficient high-quality water, or do not have the capacity to capture water.
"The project has been strongly endorsed by local growers who have registered $10 million in support of the scheme via a formal 'Letter of Intent' process.
"The State Government is now in the process of applying for Commonwealth funding. Depending on the level of funding secured, the project could be rescaled and delivered in stages."
Water Minister Mia Davies said the funding boost was critical in helping to address current water constraints in the region, to ensure the sustainability and expansion of agriculture in the region.
"The proposed scheme will modernise distribution and accessibility of irrigation water in the area, facilitating a trading environment," Ms Davies said.
"It is proposed the scheme will be industry led by a private entity or co-operative. The State Government will assist in the development of governance and financial models for the proposed scheme."
Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis said the Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme project would reduce the risk for on farm investment and help growers move to higher value horticulture production in the State.
The Southern Forests Water Futures project is a key component of the Water for Food program under the $350 million Royalties for Regions Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture initiative.
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Water Minister's office - 6552 5500
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6400