Water savings and productivity benefits flow across NSW
Irrigators in New South Wales are set to benefit from significant improvements to water infrastructure, with approval of the first tranche of funding of $12.5 million under Round Three of the Australian Government’s $750 million Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Programme (PIIOP).
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce and NSW Minister for Lands and Water Niall Blair said three new projects will see outdated, inefficient and ineffective systems and pipelines replaced with modern, efficient water infrastructure.
“Works will involve comprehensive upgrades of the Goodnight Irrigation network and the entire Hay Irrigation system—enabling irrigators to adopt more efficient irrigation and farming practices, to deliver significantly greater productivity and diversification in cropping,” Minister Joyce said.
“Under this round of PIIOP the modernisation of the Coleambally Irrigation scheme will also be completed, building on Coleambally Irrigation’s earlier works under PIIOP Rounds One and Two.
“Coleambally Irrigation’s new project will increase control over the delivery of water to the farm gate, helping farmers increase crop production without reducing their water entitlements.
“We are making more than $100 million in funding available under the third round of PIIOP for off-farm projects in NSW to improve the efficiency of water infrastructure in the Murray–Darling Basin and I anticipate announcing further funding under this programme in the near future.”
NSW Minister for Lands and Water Niall Blair said the announcement was a great opportunity for irrigation operators across the state to continue making significant efficiency gains.
“We have achieved a lot in previous funding rounds but there is more work to be done. As some of the most efficient farmers in the world, NSW irrigation operators are committed to the challenge of improving infrastructure to be more competitive and productive,” Minister Blair said.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said the funding would boost the region’s agricultural output, benefiting the local, regional and national economies.
“I welcome today’s announcement that Hay, Goodnight and Coleambally irrigation districts will each benefit from the latest PIIOP round,” Ms Ley said.
“Individually these districts have sought to modernise their local irrigation infrastructure; accommodating growth and allowing improved crop variability, flexibility of delivery – while also bettering on-farm water efficiency.”
NSW Member for Murray Adrian Piccoli also welcomed the news of the PIIOP funding across the electorate.
“Every drop of water is valuable, so any improvements that can be made to delivering this water with greater efficiency is good for farmers,” Mr Piccoli said.
Minister Joyce said across NSW, the first two rounds of PIIOP have funded about 455 kilometres of new or refurbished water delivery channels; 1011 kilometres of stock and domestic pipeline for water supply for 225 farmers; 4,468 new meters and control points; and water delivery infrastructure on 324 farms.
For more information on PIIOP visit environment.gov.au/water/rural-water/srwui/state-priority-projects/piiop-nsw.