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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Meander magnet for dairy farmers

The Mercury: Meander magnet for dairy farmers [01aug05]

CASHED-UP dairy farmers from Victoria and Tasmania's north coast are flocking to the Meander Valley after the State Government's decision to go ahead with construction of the Meander dam.

Local land agents claim many interstate farmers are looking to expand into Tasmania or completely move their operations here.

The main attraction is higher rainfall and the low cost of irrigation water for pastures, according to Websters' Deloraine livestock agent Gerard Gelston.

But the availability for purchase of permanent water rights on rivers such as the Meander, which runs from south of Deloraine through the rich flood plains of Westbury and Hadspen, is another big lure.

The new $35 million dam to be completed by September 2007 will add 24,000 megalitres of irrigation water to the farm system.

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