Consultation process on community management of irrigation schemes

08 May 2024

Tasmanian Irrigation is pleased to announce the launch of a consultation process with our irrigators and key stakeholders regarding the potential community management of publicly owned irrigation schemes.

In December 2023, the Tasmanian State Parliament passed the Water Miscellaneous Amendments (Delegation and Industrial Water Supply) ACT 2023 (WMA Act) into law. The WMA Act amends existing legislation relevant to Tasmanian Irrigation, to enable the Tasmanian Government’s policy to facilitate community management of publicly owned irrigation schemes, where feasible and appropriate. “In practical terms, these changes mean that Tasmanian Irrigation can delegate some of its powers and functions to irrigator groups,” said Tasmanian Irrigation CEO Andrew Kneebone.

“Tasmanian Irrigation supports community management of publicly owned irrigation schemes where it makes sense. We are always looking for efficiencies in how we operate schemes, and if there’s a more efficient way for irrigators to access the schemes, we support that.”As part of the consultation process, Tasmanian Irrigation will hold information sessions during May to explain the implications of the legislative changes, outline what powers and functions can and cannot be delegated, and introduce and seek input on draft documents that set out the process for irrigator groups to apply for delegation.

“There’s a wide range of possible scenarios for delegation, and what irrigators want may vary from scheme to scheme,” Mr Kneebone said. “We need to understand that and facilitate irrigator requirements to the extent the legislation permits. However, some things are not able to be delegated.“The legislation does not enable the transfer of state-owned irrigation assets as part of the delegation. All irrigation scheme assets will remain owned by Tasmanian Irrigation on behalf of the State under community management arrangements, and the WMA Act includes threshold tests to ensure the protection of public investment in schemes.”

Tasmanian Irrigation will also remain the Responsible Water Entity, and there are ongoing compliance and reporting obligations that must continue to be met by Tasmanian Irrigation. Mr Kneebone said the WMA Act requires robust procedures and conditions for delegations to ensure that the interests of the Government, Tasmanian Irrigation, irrigation scheme participants, local communities and the environment are safeguarded.“We are looking for input from our customers and key stakeholders to help us develop fit-for-purpose processes and documentation. There’s a lot of detail to work through, which is why we will be holding consultation sessions with irrigators over the coming months to help us refine the process so it works for everyone.

Dates and locations of the information sessions are set out below, and more detail is available on
Tasmanian Irrigation’s website: https://www.tasmanianirrigatio...

Community management information and consultation sessions

13 May, 10am – 11.30am
Sorell Memorial Hall: 47 Cole St, Sorell

14 May, 1-2.30 pm
Oatlands RSL: 1 Albert St, Oatlands


16 May, 10.30am – 12 noon
Scottsdale Football Club: 5 Rose Street, Scottsdale


20 May, 10am – 11.30am
Paranaple Arts Centre (Aberdeen Room): Market Square, 137 Rooke St, Devonport

Campbell Town
22 May, 10am – 11.30am
The Grange Estate: 4A Commonwealth Lane, Campbell Town

23 May, 10am – 11.30am
Door of Hope: 50 Glen Dhu St, South Launceston
Ends 3 May 2024

For more information, contact:
Samantha Meyer, Manager of Stakeholder Relations and Communications 0438 210 468