In a first for the state, the Palaszczuk Government is offering 14 irrigators and irrigation groups along the Dawson River access to more than 69,000 megalitres of water annually for three years, to drive jobs and growth in central Queensland.
After calling for submissions earlier this year, Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the successful Queenslanders had until the 19 August to accept the offer and expected them to jump at the unique opportunity.
“Water is the lifeblood of the region, and with this water, landholders will be able to grow their cotton, beef, grain, and fodder farming enterprises over the next three years,” he said.
“The water release has been made possible because the Palaszczuk Government made changes to the Water Act allowing temporary access to strategic water infrastructure reserves.
“Local jobs also will be created to develop the infrastructure needed to support accessing and storing this water, further helping to grow the economy in this region.
“Water could flow as early as the 1st of October.
“It is a huge water win for the community with farmers also getting the water at a fixed price.”
Dr Lynham said the decision to release the strategic water infrastructure reserve from the Dawson River was the result of extensive consultation and collaboration with the local community.
“While we have made the decision to release this strategic water reserve it is not at the expense of the environment – environmental flows will remain to support the health of the river system,” he said.
“The success of this pilot water release could pave the way for future releases in other areas across the state.”
The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy received 15 applications for the 90,000 megalitres on offer, of which 14 were approved for a total of 69,000 megalitres.
NB. Photo attached shows cotton irrigation on Macander, Moura.