FARMERS burdened with costs due to Hydro Tasmania’s lowering of Lake Meadowbank will continue to seek additional compensation through State and Federal Governments, after accepting Hydro Tasmania’s latest offer.
In the ongoing negotiations between the parties, irrigators based around the water source – who will be required to install additional pumping infrastructure – will now be compensated either $10,000 or 50 per cent of costs by Hydro Tasmania, as well as Hydro delaying the lowering by a year, until February 2023.
David Jones, a dairy farmer from Hamilton who has acted as spokesperson for the affected irrigators in the region, said while the offer from Hydro was accepted, they are still aiming for their original 75 per cent compensation coverage from elsewhere.
“The group have decided to accept Hydro’s offer of 50 per cent, which is great, but we are still going to pursue the remaining 25 per cent we were after through the State or Federal Government,” Mr Jones said.
“The initial port of call will be towards the ministers, then to local senators.”
Mr Jones said despite the long negotiations, he was thankful for the support of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, who had assisted in the negotiations between the two parties.
“We’d love to extend our thanks towards Minister [Guy] Barnett and his department in their help persuading Hydro with this deal, as well as thanking Hydro themselves.”
It is expected now that the repair work will be undertaken under the same conditions, lowering Lake Meadowbank by two meters for 10 weeks from February 2023, followed by a two-week period where the lake level is dropped a further four meters.
This process will be repeated in the summer of 2024.