Ord River calls for water providers

18/06/2009 - 12:52

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The state government is calling on potential water service providers to tender for the $391 million expansion of the Ord River irrigation scheme.

The state government is calling on potential water service providers to tender for the $391 million expansion of the Ord River irrigation scheme.

Minister for Water Graham Jacobs said the Department of Water is looking for a service provider who can efficiently operate and maintain irrigation infrastructure and provide water to farmers and land owners in a cost-effective manner.

"There will be a competitive two-stage selection process that is in line with the State Government priority to facilitate competition and innovation in the water industry," Mr Jacobs said.

"For the first time, the process will test the market and see real competition in the irrigation services industry."

Construction on the Ord River expansion scheme is already underway and the federal and state governments have already committed to equally contributing to the project.

 

 

The announcement is below:

 

The Department of Water is calling on potential water service providers to register their interest in the Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project.

As part of the State Government's Royalties for Regions initiative, the project aims to expand the Ord irrigation area.

Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said water was the vital ingredient in ensuring the success of this world-class development.

"The Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project comes at a time when the southern parts of Australia are facing severe effects from a drying climate," Mr Grylls said.

"Water is a precious resource and its availability in the north holds the key to the
Ord area being a major hub for agriculture and social development."

Water Minister Graham Jacobs said the Department of Water had a crucial role in managing the resource to ensure its sustainability against many increasing demands.

"We are looking for a service provider who can efficiently operate and maintain irrigation infrastructure and provide irrigation water to farmers and land owners in a cost-effective manner," Dr Jacobs said.

"There will be a competitive two-stage selection process that is in line with the State Government priority to facilitate competition and innovation in the water industry.

"For the first time, the process will test the market and see real competition in the irrigation services industry."

As part of its water management role, the Department of Water will also develop pricing principles, allocate water and license the service providers.

Initially, 8,000ha of subdivided agricultural land will be released in the Weaber Plains area in 2011.

Mr Grylls said the increased economic activity from the development would provide income and employment opportunities for Kununurra, boost social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, housing and early childhood facilities and see investments made to Kununurra's airport and Wyndham Port.

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