Two changes have been made on the Tasmanian Water Miscellaneous Amendments (Delegation and Industrial Water Supply) Bill 2023, with the bill now allowing Irrigation to supply bulk raw Hydro water for hydrogen production, and secondly facilitating community management of irrigation schemes. 

Tasmanian Minister for Water and Primary Industries, Jo Palmer, said, “The Government’s priority is for local communities to have the opportunity for greater involvement in the operation and management of publicly owned irrigation schemes where appropriate and feasible. 

“Supply of water for industrial use will only be available within an irrigation district where a declaration is made by the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, with the agreement of the Treasurer.

“Importantly, the declaration cannot be made if it would have detrimental impacts to existing water users and feedback must be sought from TasWater and relevant irrigators, or the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association,” Ms Palmer said.

Supply of water to produce green hydrogen is also important for the Tamar Valley Irrigation Scheme. The reality is initial water sales were not sufficient for the scheme to progress but, by adding demand from green hydrogen, it became a win-win for agriculture and industry.

Minister for Energy and Renewables, Nick Duigan, said changes to the Bill will allow Tasmanian Irrigation to enter into contracts for the supply of water for industrial use for green hydrogen production.

“This change will support the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan, which sets an ambitious goal of transforming Tasmania into a globally significant exporter of green hydrogen from 2030,” Mr Duigan said.

“The Bill provides that industrial use of water must be associated with hydrogen production and auxiliary, or incidental use, in an irrigation district.”

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