Pipeline project boon for region

Claire TyrrellCountryman

The Gascoyne area is set to get a boost with the multi-million-dollar Gascoyne Pipeline Project and the Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative in Carnarvon.

Launched last week, the replacement and upgrade of the pipeline was designed to provide irrigation across the entire 1200-hectare Carnarvon horticultural precinct and be capable of servicing a proposed 400ha expansion.

Agriculture Minister Terry Redman said the expansion of the pipeline had been pursued by the community for many years and would help to unlock the potential of the Gascoyne as a food producing region for WA.

"The upgrade will ensure the most efficient delivery of water to existing plantations in Carnarvon, which means more can be grown for less water," he said.

"This pipeline is also vital for any new horticultural developments coming on line in the area."

Mr Redman said growers in the region were well known for their water-use efficiency and innovative practices to deliver high-quality produce.

"The Carnarvon horticultural area plays a critical role in WA's fruit and vegetable production, annually generating, on average, $81 million of produce and this can grow significantly with the expansion," he said.

"This commitment to fund the pipeline will allow the Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative to look at the next steps for development and expansion in the area."

WA representatives were expecting Federal Water Minister Tony Burke to attend the launch of the $45 million Royalties for Regions project, however, Mr Burke's media office told _Countryman _ he would not be there.

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