Joint Media Release: Duck Irrigation Scheme improving Tasmania’s water security​

27 March 2019

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud
Senator for Tasmania, Steve Martin


  • Coalition delivers Tasmania's Smithton region a 6,000ML Mill Creek Dam, 2 pump stations and 61km of distribution pipeline
  • Coalition Government funded $15.83 million of the project in a public-private partnership with the Tasmanian Government and irrigators
  • Coalition delivers on water infrastructure

Smithton farmers are already growing more food and employing more people thanks to a new dam, pump stations and water distribution pipeline as part of the Duck Irrigation Scheme.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and Senator for Tasmania Steve Martin launched the Duck Irrigation Scheme today, along with Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck, Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water Guy Barnett, and Chair of Tasmanian Irrigation Samantha Hogg.

"The Coalition Government continues to deliver 21st century water infrastructure," Minister Littleproud said.

"This irrigation scheme will deliver long term, sustainable jobs to the region.

"When farmers have access to water, they can grow more food and employ more locals.

"This helps Tasmanian farmers deliver the world's most sustainably and ethically sourced food and fibre."

Senator Martin said the scheme was one of the great outcomes of the Coalition and Tasmanian Government collaboration on the Project Agreement for Tasmania Tranche II.

"Our farmers will be able to irrigate and manage their businesses with more flexibility and more crop choices, which is a great outcome for the region.

"The Duck Irrigation Scheme has also created over 50 new, ongoing jobs for this area, helping this regional community prosper.

"The Duck Irrigation Scheme can reliably deliver 5,200 megalitres of water during the summer irrigation season for a potential irrigable area of over 19,600 hectares."

Fast Facts:

  • The four sustainable schemes of the Project Agreement for Tasmania Tranche II are now complete, with these results:
    • irrigation provided to areas around White Hills, Smithton, Bothwell and Swansea
    • water storage totaling 21.8 gigalitres
    • coverage of 52,000 hectares of irrigable land
    • creation of 179 ongoing jobs
  • The Australian Government provided $60 million, the Tasmanian Government $30 million, and the remainder of the construction budget was met by private investment.
  • Nationwide, the Australian Government provides more than $3.3 billion to identify and build water infrastructure ​