28/06/2020 | Tim Whetstone MP | Better Services

Farmers on the Eyre Peninsula now have a secure water source to help grow agriculture in the region following the completion of the $1.5 million Coolanie Water Scheme project.

The project provides 40 kilometres of supply and distribution pipeline allowing some farmers in the region access to secure water supplies beyond dams and water carting for the first time.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said completion of the water infrastructure project on the Eyre Peninsula was part of the Australian and South Australian Governments’ commitment to increasing water supply and security for primary producers, businesses and communities in drought-affected areas.

“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government is investing in vital water infrastructure projects to better prepare our regional communities for future droughts,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This permanent water infrastructure solution will support ongoing drought resilience for the area giving our farmers the confidence they need to continue to grow the world’s best food and fibre.”

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said completion of the scheme meant farmers in Coolanie area within the District Council of Franklin Harbour would be able to reduce their dependence on rainfall as well as expensive water carting during times of drought.

“Water security and climate independent water for the area means local farmers and primary producers can have confidence that their water needs will be met,” Minister Whetstone said.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to our regions, supporting local producers and communities with the impacts of drought.

“Long-term, it’s providing a drought-proof supply of water to up to 30 Eyre Peninsula farms with primary producers connected to the scheme expected to build up their breeding stock of ewes and increase lamb production by around 50 per cent.”

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the Coolanie Water Scheme is ensuring a reliable water source is available for South Australian farmers.

“This project is a fine example of how the Federal Government recognises the vital role agriculture and the regions play in the Australia’s economic success. Projects like this help maximise agricultural output,” Mr Ramsey said.

“The Coolanie Water Scheme forms part of our $1.5 billion National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, which is investing in critical water infrastructure projects across the country to underpin regional prosperity and support the growth of our agriculture sector.”

District Council of Franklin Harbour Mayor Robert Walsh said they’ve already had interest from 30 farmers wanting to connect to the scheme.

“This Coolanie Water Scheme is a game-changing piece of infrastructure for local farmers,” said Mr Walsh.

“The supply is already operational, and to date we’ve installed 18 water meters. We’re still accepting applications from farmers to connect to the scheme so if you’re interested but haven’t signed up get in touch with the Council.”

The $1.5 million Coolanie Water Scheme has been jointly funded with the Australian Government providing $715,000, the South

Australian Government providing $500,000 from the Regional Growth Fund and District Council of Franklin Harbour providing the remining funding.

For more information on the Australian Government’s investment in planning and funding the next generation of water infrastructure, visit www.nationalwatergrid.gov.au.