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Scenarios of the future: Irrigation in the Goulburn Broken Region

Final Report 1

Dr Q.J. Wang, Mr David Robertson, Mr Leon Soste, Mr Robert Chaffe

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The Goulburn Broken Catchment is known as the food bowl of Australia. It covers 2.4 million hectares and has a population of around 200,000 people (Department of Sustainability and Environment 2005). Irrigated agriculture is a major business engine in the Goulburn Broken Region, producing more than $1.2 billion at the farm gate in 2001-2002 from about 280,000 hectares of irrigated agricultural land. Investment in on-farm and processing infrastructure is about A$100 million per annum (Michael Young and Associates 2001). The Region is therefore a major contributor to the state and national economies and the quality of life of consumers.

The Region faces significant challenges and opportunities. Issues such as free-trade agreements, climate change, water reform, and technological developments will have a significant influence on the future. As one of the oldest gravity irrigation systems in Australia, Goulburn-Murray Water’s irrigation system needs substantial renewal of its ageing infrastructure in the next 20 years. The consequences of these pressures for the Region are highly uncertain and will include impacts on the Region’s economy, environmental assets and social fabric. Therefore, it is critical that the Region develops a sound plan to strategically position itself for irrigation in the future.

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Author(s):
Dr Q.J. Wang, Mr David Robertson, Mr Leon Soste, Mr Robert Chaffe
SeriesIrrigation in the Goulburn Broken Region
Product Type: 
Final Report
Product Format: 
Report
Publisher: 
Department of Primary Industries - Victoria

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id: 2670 / created: 12 September, 2008 / last updated: 06 June, 2012