Huge water release vital for CQ farmers
A CALL for tenders to release another 50,000 megalitres of unallocated water to Central Queensland farmers will be an economic and social boon, the Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said today.
"This is a major boost for Central Queensland's agricultural industry with tenders to be called this Friday for more than 50,000 of unallocated water reserves in the Fitzroy Basin," Mrs Lauga said.
Mrs Lauga said this life-giving water being made available for the local community will drive jobs and development, with flow-on effects to townships, services and communities.
"This water will be drawn from the general reserves of unallocated surface water and groundwater covered by the Fitzroy Basin Water Resource Plan - surface water made available from unallocated general reserves in the Isaac Connors, Lower Mackenzie, Upper Dawson and Fitzroy sub-catchments, and in the Don and Dee Rivers and the Alma Creek water management area.
"There is significant amount of demand for water in the Fitzroy Basin from a diverse range of industries."
At least 75 percent of the available water will be distributed for agricultural purposes, with up to 25 percent of the available water to be provided to other industries, such as intensive livestock, feedlots and small-scale mining.
"Importantly, water licences will include conditions to protect the environment and existing water users' access rights to water," Mrs Lauga said.
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines will be running public information sessions in CQ about the tender process, with applications closing 23 February 2017.
"This is the third release of water to Queensland's rural landholders in the past 13 months, and is a further demonstration of the Palaszczuk Government's commitment to supporting the growth of Central Queensland's agricultural industry and our regional economies," said Mrs Lauga.