State Govt scraps SFIS in favour of new water security plan

The contentious Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme is officially damned after it was scrapped it in favour of a separate future water security plan.

Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan on Friday announced the State Government would not proceed with the program, which would have seen water pumped from the Middle Donnelly River to a 15-gigalitre dam at Record Brook and then distributed through more than 250km of pipelines to about 100 farmers between Manjimup and Pemberton.

Ms MacTiernan said earlier this year the water modelling for the scheme was no longer viable, which threw the multi-million-dollar project into doubt.

But she said in Manjimup on Friday the State Government was still committed to ensuring future water security, with a brand new task force set to be formed to investigate future water use and management.

The reference group will be established to provide advice on alternative measures to deliver water security for the area’s horticultural sector to respond to climate change challenges.

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