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Barossa Water Pipeline

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (14:48): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Deputy Leader of the Government, representing the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, questions about the Barossa water pipeline proposal.


Leave granted.


The Hon. J.A. DARLEY: I understand there is an infrastructure proposal to provide water from the Bolivar Waste Water Treatment Plant to deliver additional water to the Barossa and Eden valleys. My questions to the minister are:


1. What types of crops are envisaged to be grown utilising this water?

2. What has been done to address the assumed high cost of purchasing this water for agricultural purposes?

3. What is the anticipated minimum allotment size to apply in these areas where existing broadacre farms could be subdivided?

4. Will the minimum allotment size qualify for a house to be built on these allotments?


The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:49): I thank the honourable member for his question. I do have a little bit of knowledge about some of the water irrigation schemes that operate north and north-east of Adelaide. I think what he is referring to is the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme, which is something that I think the Hon. Mr Ridgway, in his former role as shadow minister for agriculture, was a very strong advocate for.


There is also the Barossa pipeline, which has been operating for some time. It receives water from the Warren Reservoir, which is an offline reservoir. I will double-check his question and make sure I get some accurate information about what the proposals are for either or both of those schemes and address the specific matters that he has raised.


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Response

2 February 2021


The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services): The Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development has advised:


In February 2020, the Marshall Liberal government announced it was investigating delivering reclaimed water from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant, via existing and new infrastructure, to deliver additional water to the Barossa and Eden Valleys.


A preliminary business case, commissioned by the Department of Primary Industries and Regions in 2019, estimated potential demand for up to an additional 14 gigalitres (GL) of water which could generate $292 million per year in economic activity and deliver 1,000 new jobs.


In response to the honourable member's specific questions:

1. Wine grapes. Livestock production may also be supported.

2. The cost of the water will be dependent on factors including water treatment costs and distribution costs.

3. The pipeline project does not, of itself, stipulate any minimum allotment size or project scale to qualify for access to water.

4. Refer to answer of question 3.