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Gascoyne horticulture expansion to grow from water agreement

Irrigated agriculture expansion in the Gascoyne moved forward today, with the McGowan Government taking steps to guarantee a reliable, high-quality water supply to new and existing growers at Carnarvon.

The State has entered into an agreement with the Gascoyne Water Cooperative (GWC) and Gascoyne Water Asset Mutual Cooperative that will, over time, see four gigalitres of water per annum made available from the new Northern borefield.

The GWC will maintain and operate the 18 new production bores and 25-kilometer pipeline, powered by a 22,000-volt electricity supply - all developed under the State Government's $25 million Gascoyne Food Bowl initiative.

The agreement supports the GWC's expansion plans and provides confidence to growers, particularly the owners of a recent land release, to progress investments to cultivate table grapes, melons, and other fruit crops.

Development approvals and site preparations for the 320-hectare land release are progressing, with initial plantings expected before the end of 2023.

Today's milestone signals the final leg of the transformative Gascoyne Food Bowl project to lift horticulture production in the Carnarvon irrigation area and capture domestic and export market opportunities that generate regional growth and jobs.

Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

"I am pleased we have been able to land this agreement which is so important for the future of horticulture in Carnarvon."

"Planning investment for developing scale in this important precinct has been underway for decades."

"This expansion of the area and improved water security benefits all growers, improving critical mass for new markets and logistics."

"I thank Gascoyne Water Cooperative Chair Elena Limnios and CEO Eddie Smith for their leadership and dedication to finalizing this agreement and putting the GWC on a sustainable footing. I wish the board every success in the future."

Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:

"This agreement represents another important step towards establishing the Gascoyne as one of Australia's premier food-producing regions.

"By improving water security for growers in the Gascoyne, the State Government is supporting the expansion and sustainable future of this key horticultural region."

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