A new irrigation system has been commissioned in the Aboriginal community of Mowanjum in the West Kimberley. The new system is a partnership between the Western Australian State Government and the Mowanjum irrigation trial and is part of the region’s $40million Water for Food program.

WA Water Minister, Mia Davies, and WA Regional Development Minister, Terry Redman, recently joined the community near Derby to commission the centre pivot irrigation system on the Mowanjum Pastoral Station.

Ms Davies said it was an honour to be with the West Kimberley community to mark the occasion.

“This is a defining moment for the 350-strong community’s hard work and persistence to expand its economy,” she said.

“Work on this $3.6 million Water for Food project began only last year and today water is flowing through the irrigation system. It’s a critical part of the stand-and-graze model being trialled and underpins Mowanjum’s entry into the Kimberley beef industry.

“This is an excellent outcome made possible through the dedication of the Mowanjum community and support from the State Government’s $40 million Water for Food program.”

The irrigation trial will serve as a demonstration model for other Aboriginal pastoral stations.

Mr Redman said the Water for Food program, made possible by the Government’s Royalties for Regions program, was creating economic opportunities for regional Western Australian communities.

“Today proves that investing in diversification opportunities increases the economic stability and sustainability of regional communities and Mowanjum is an excellent example of what can be achieved,” he said.

“Water for Food builds on the Government’s unprecedented investment in the agricultural sector under the $300 million Seizing the Opportunity in Agriculture initiative, which aims to strengthen regional communities where agriculture is a major economic activity.” 

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