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Tasmanian dairy benefits from new funding

Tasmanian dairy benefits from new funding

Published: 15th February 2012

Dairy cows. Circular Head is Tasmania's largest dairying region. Photo courtesy of the Circular Head Council.

Two major projects in the Circular Head region of north-west Tasmania have received funding under the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) economic diversification package.

Up to $1.5 million will be invested in a major power upgrade to Harcus River Road, and $4.25 million will fund the new AgriTas Trade College at Smithton.

In making the announcement, the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean said the Harcus River Road power upgrade, from the Woolnorth gate to Marrawah, will help the lower-value beef farms transition to higher value dairy farms, capable of using modern robotic dairy technology.

"The upgrade will create more than 200 jobs during construction and 135 ongoing jobs on farms as a result of the improvements,” said Mr Crean.

"The AgriTas Trade College will ensure the next generation of agricultural leaders have the skills and resources to grow the dairy industry and deliver long-term economic benefits to Tasmania,’ he said.

According to the Mayor of Circular Head, Cr Daryl Quilliam, the funding has the potential to redefine the region’s future.

"Offering everything from the basics of agriculture training, right through to high-level management skills, the [AgriTas Trade College] will have large scale impacts and enduring benefits,” Mayor Quilliam said.

“This College is the light at the end of the tunnel for our municipality, it will act as an impetus for the redefinition of Circular Head."

The Mayor believes the announcement would be welcome news to not only existing processors, but also new developments such as the new milk processing factory at Smithton, and that there would be many flow on effects to the Circular Head community.

As part of the IGA, the Federal Government is investing $120 million to diversify Tasmania’s economy. The funding will be provided over 15 years, including initial funding of $20 million in 2011-12.