The Federal Government has agreed to deliver $46 million to the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme with the aim of creating much-needed jobs in the region.
The $155 million scheme hopes to deliver 3700 new jobs through high-tech food production – a boost to industry considered necessary to counter the job losses expected from the closing of car manufacturer Holden in October.
With an additional 12GL of recycled water supplied annually through the Bolivar wastewater treatment plant, the extra water will help expand agriculture and horticulture industries in the northern Adelaide plains.
"Growing the reputation and capacity of the region for premium food production will boost the economic future of the horticulture industry and its communities," South Australian Minister for Agriculture Leon Bignell told news.com.au
AUSVEG SA State Manager Jordan Brooke-Barnett said the investment will help bolster the growing industry.
"This is a once in a generation investment that has potential to grow our industry into the future," he said.
"Horticulture is poised to grow significantly as a result of this investment and provide significant employment outcomes at a challenging time for our state."
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the investment is also crucial to supporting international food market access.
“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% between 2007 and 2050,’’ Joyce said.
“This project will be key to developing greater market access for South Australian producers to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Singapore.”
The irrigation scheme
is expected to be operational by early 2019 with a new water treatment plant, a pump station, bore field and 50km of pipes to supply recycled water to a new irrigation area.