Plans to allocate additional water could provide a crucial lifeline to the region’s farmers.
Plans to allocate additional water could provide a crucial lifeline to the region’s farmers.

CQ farmers, businesses offered crucial resource lifeline

PLANS to help get both the local business and job market flowing across parts of Central Queensland appear to be taking shape.

Farmers and business owners residing in the region’s inner-west corner are invited to bid for more water as part of a state-led economic recovery scheme.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham on Friday confirmed expressions of interest were now open to receive a sizeable 4545 ML of water.

Those living and working in areas spanning from Longreach south and west, down to the state’s southern borders are eligible to apply.

Agribusinesses stands to benefit from the renewed additional water scheme.
Agribusinesses stands to benefit from the renewed additional water scheme.

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However, some areas with an existing high water intake such as the Surat Basin near Dalby, Chinchilla and Roma have been excluded.

The much-needed scheme comes the State looks to identify and release around 3.4 million megalitres of water which remain unallocated in its reserved water plans.

Any additional water allocations issued will, however, include conditions in a bid to protect the environment and existing water users.

Dr Lynham said Queensland’s dedicated economic recovery plan and access to water was expected to further boost many regional communities in need.

“This additional water offers farmers and associated agribusinesses the opportunity to expand, as well as the renewable sector who could also use this to develop geothermal generation projects.”

BRIGHT FUTURE: Minister for Natural Resources Anthony Lynham.
BRIGHT FUTURE: Minister for Natural Resources Anthony Lynham.

“Farmers and their communities are under pressure, with the south west still in drought, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“This water release may help in relieving some of that hardship.”

He added while the water-based scheme had first started to take shape in 2018, COVID-19 resulted in it becoming a high priority task.

More than 100,000ML of water has already been allocated from the Gulf in the north and the Lockyer in the south – with more releases in the pipeline.

Expressions of interest close on November 30.

For more information, click here.



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