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By Fiona Hamann
August 18, 2017
The Australian Federal Government yesterday announced an additional $45.6 million in capital funding for the North Adelaide Irrigation Scheme, which is expected to create up to 3700 full time jobs, generate $578 million in economic activity and deliver an additional 12 gigalitres per annum of high quality recycled water from the Bolivar Wastewater treatment plant.
The capital funding comes on the back of the $110 million committed by the South Australian Government early this year, and signals that the $155 million project is ready to commence once necessary approvals are in place.
Senator for South Australia and Federal Minister for Education Simon Birmingham outlined the scope: “The project will involve the construction and operation of a new water treatment plant; a 5GL Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) bore field; a pump station; and almost 50 kilometres of pipeline including a distribution network to supply a new irrigation area north west of the current horticulture precinct on the North Adelaide Plains.”
The project is expected to create 163 construction jobs with the remaining additional employment estimated to come from the agriculture and horticulture industries. It will increase water capacity by up to 60 per cent, is expected to deliver more affordable and secure irrigation to farmers in the region, supporting regional growth and rural activity and is expected to start delivering water to farmers as early as 2019.
“We’re investing in the infrastructure of tomorrow so we can expand our production to meet global food demand that is set to rise by 75 percent between 2007 and 2050,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water, Barnaby Joyce.
The Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) is a project partnership between SA Water and Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) and is one of eight “priority initiatives” around infrastructure for the State.
In order to deliver the additional recycled water to boost the agricultural industry upgrades are essential for the Bolivar Wastewater treatment plant and a new pipe networks will be constructed north of the Gawler River. An independent economic assessment identified the additional 12 GL of recycled water a year would add $578 million a year to the state's economy which will grow to 6,000 jobs and $1.1 billion a year when it reaches the full 20 GL capacity.
The Federal funding was welcomed by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill who said: “This scheme is about supporting our State’s primary production industry and Adelaide’s northern suburbs by creating jobs and diversifying the local economy.”
“The scheme’s focus is helping South Australia to be competitive in the export market by transforming the region into the national leader in intensive, high-tech food production, as well as drive employment growth and attract new skills and talent into the state,” he continued.
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