New director for Ord River expansion

11/03/2009 - 14:36

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The state government will create a new director position to oversee the expansion of the Ord River irrigation scheme and associated community and social infrastructure in the east Kimberley.

The state government will create a new director position to oversee the expansion of the Ord River irrigation scheme and associated community and social infrastructure in the east Kimberley.

 

The announcement is below:

 

Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said significant progress was being made on the long-awaited expansion of the Ord Valley irrigation scheme and associated community and social infrastructure in the East Kimberley.

"To drive the expansion program we have created and advertised the Kununurra-based position of Director, Ord and East Kimberley Development," Mr Grylls said.

"The director will guide the development program, which involves a number of agencies. The project will be led by myself as Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development with the Department of Regional Development administering the roll-out of the program."

"The position is responsible for leading the management and strategic direction of the Ord and East Kimberley Development, including the Ord expansion projects and the director will also chair the Ord Steering Committee.

The Minister said the Liberal-National Government had allocated $220million over the next four years under the Royalties for Regions program to Ord development and this was supported by $195million over the next two years from Canberra.

"The State-Commonwealth Ord East Kimberley package will see a doubling of the Ord Valley irrigation area to 28,000 hectares and also target investment in Kununurra's airport capacity, Wyndham port and provide a much-needed boost in social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, and early childhood facilities," Mr Grylls said

"On February 16, the Water Corporation commenced earthworks to upgrade the existing M1 channel in preparation for its extension into the new M2 irrigation area as soon as environmental approvals are secured."

A 5.5 kilometre section of the channel was being reinstated to its original design capacity while survey and design work was under way for the extension and partial duplication of the channel.

Royalties for Regions money was mainly being directed to the roll-out of agricultural land and associated infrastructure with this work being coordinated by Landcorp.

"A subdivision design for the first 8,000 hectares of the M2 area has been agreed to by the Ord Community Reference Group and comprises 22 lots with the majority between 400 and 500 hectares in size," the Minister said

The first release of the new agricultural blocks was expected by 2011.

Applications for the position of Director for the Ord and East Kimberley Development close on Monday, March 30.

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