Australian agricultural businesses spent $1.4 billion on irrigation-related expenditure in 2008-09, which was similar to the total expenditure in 2006-07. Most of this ($440.4 million) was irrigation operating expenses (which included items such as pump running expenses, repairs and maintenance, but did not include the costs associated with the purchase of water). The next largest irrigation outlay was the purchase of irrigation equipment ($288.6 million), followed by annual irrigation charges ($152.1 million).
In 2008-09, the highest reported irrigation-related expenditure for every state and territory, except for Tasmania, was irrigation operating expenses. In Tasmania, the highest outlay was the purchase of irrigation equipment.
Half of all expenditure on capital construction of irrigation earthworks and structures in Australia in 2008-09 occurred in Victoria ($55.6 million). This state also recorded 49% of Australia's $146.7 million expenditure on the purchase of extra water on a temporary basis.
Compared to 2006-07, the greatest change in irrigation expenditure in 2008-09 occurred for capital construction of irrigation earthworks and structures, where the 2008-09 expenditure fell 39% to $110.9 million. Expenditure on water licences and annual irrigation charges in 2008-09 however, was 32% higher than that in 2006-07.
Of the $819.3 million irrigation-related expenditure in the Murray-Darling Basin in 2008-09, 27% was irrigation operating expenses other than the costs associated with the purchase of water. The next highest outlay was the purchase of extra water on a temporary basis ($138.2 million), followed by the purchase of irrigation equipment ($126.5 million).
Of the total irrigation expenditure on the purchase of extra water on a temporary basis in Australia in 2008-09, 94% (or $138.2 million) was spent in the Murray-Darling Basin.
The value of irrigation equipment and infrastructure on agricultural establishments in Australia in 2008-09 was $8.5 billion. The highest value was in New South Wales ($2.8 billion) which was a third of Australia's total value, followed by Queensland ($2.2 billion) and Victoria ($1.4 billion).
In 2008-09 the value of irrigation equipment and infrastructure on agricultural establishments in the Murray-Darling Basin totalled $5.0 billion, which was 59% of the Australian total.