Water security the key for Lockyer Valley growth

FUTURE water security in the Lockyer Valley is vital for the region to reach its full potential, according to farmer Troy Qualischefski.

Mr Qualischefski, a co-director at Qualipac farm, said the capacity of the current dams was not sufficient.

"For the Lockyer Valley to go and get market for its produce we need water security," Mr Qualischefski said.

"In 2011 and 2013 we had all the water in the world running past our doorstep and we captured no more than 50,000 megalitres. It is ludicrous.

"We need some dams that can carry up to 100,000 megalitres that can secure water supply in the Lockyer.

"Or, instead of releasing Wivenhoe water for waste it should be piped to the Lockyer.

"There is no point having water 600 kilometres to the west. We need water security in the Lockyer.

"We have got three little dams - Lake Clarendon , Atkinson Dam and Bill Gunn Dam - and if doesn't rain they don't last more than 24 months."

Mr Qualischefski knows plenty about water - the benefits it brings and the damage it can cause. The 2011 flood took all his top soil away from his farm and he and his wife and two children Abigail and Billy, who were four and two at the time, were airlifted from their home on the banks of the Lockyer just in the nick of time.

"I was in the house and then I spoke to Ian Rickuss and said, 'I have to get out of here pretty quick'," he said.

"I didn't know how high it was going to get so I got my family into a shed. We were flashing our lights at the Blackhawk helicopter because he was lifting my neighbour out. Then they got us out."



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