INCREASED flood protection for the Carnarvon horticultural industry is a step closer with the State Government committing $45million funding to the project.
According to the WA government, the Royalties for Regions funding includes $25million from the Gascoyne Development Plan (GDP) and $20million from the Regional Development Water and Natural Resource Management Gascoyne Food Bowl and Flood Mitigation Initiative.
The State Government, through the Department of Water, has been working with the Shire of Carnarvon and Gascoyne Development Commission to provide increased flood mitigation for the greater Carnarvon area, following the damaging 2010-11 Gascoyne River floods.
“These are known as Stage 2 works and they build upon the already completed Stage 1 works which include an upgrade of two major floodways on the North West Coastal Highway,” Water Minister Bill Marmion said.
“Stage 2 works include reducing flood damage in the greater Carnarvon horticultural district and reducing disruption to regional transport.
“They will also reduce the potential for flood damage to the new Gascoyne irrigation pipeline upgrade which the State Government has invested in.”
Acting Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the estimated total cost for the proposed flood mitigation works was $65-80million.
“The partnering agencies are working on securing further money from the Federal Government to ensure the Gascoyne food-producing region receives its share of protection from major floods,” Mr Redman said.
The Carnarvon horticultural area plays a critical role in Western Australia’s fruit and vegetable production, generating an average annual $81million worth of produce. This commitment is part of $78million in Royalties for Regions funding over four years for water and natural resource management (NRM), and Gascoyne revitalisation projects to drive growth in key regional areas.