The Queensland Government has introduced legislation to support the future implementation of Local Management Arrangements (LMA) for irrigation schemes.

The legislation is in response to concerns raised by irrigators about the long-term sustainability of the existing SunWater irrigation channels.

If passed, LMA would place the channel irrigation schemes under the ownership and operation of local irrigators.

Board members for the next stage of the LMA project have also been appointed, for both the first round of transitioning schemes (transition schemes) and the second group that will be carrying out further investigation on how they could operate under local management (investigation schemes).

Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey said that the LMA project empowers local growers to control key water infrastructure.

“Local management will also use local knowledge and know how to reduce costs, increase productivity of the irrigation scheme, and add value to our agricultural sector,” Mr Bailey said.

“This Bill and the board appointments are important steps in the process to deliver local management arrangements.”

Mr Bailey said having the legislation in place early will allow for the implementation of local management as soon as the irrigators and Government agree on the arrangements for the transfer.

“I congratulate the new Chairs and Board members, who have an important leadership role in this process to build support and encourage engagement from scheme customers for local management throughout the next stage of the LMA project,” Mr Bailey said.

“The Boards will then be responsible for agreeing the final terms of the transfer, and then managing the transition of operations and control from SunWater to local management.”

The Board members of the ‘transition’ schemes are:

Emerald Eton
  • Ms Annette Smith (Chair)
  • Ms Anne-Marie O’Callaghan
  • Mr David McDougall
  • Mr Peter Galea
  • Mr Ross Burnett
  • Mr Hamish Millar
  • Mr Lee Blackburn
  • Mr John Mucscat
  • Mr John Palmer
  • Mr Josephine Prior
  • Mr Tom Wallwork
St George Theodore
  • Mr Luke Stower (Chair)
  • Mr David Moon
  • Mr Glen Price
  • Mr Ross Landsberg
  • Mr Scott Armstrong
  • Ms Liz Alexander (Chair)
  • Mr Ed Donohue
  • Mr Greg Austin
  • Mr Kirk Anderson
  • Mr Malcolm Finlayson
  • Mr Peter French

Mr Bailey said the Government was currently finalising a replacement chairperson for the Eton scheme.

“The ‘investigation’ schemes would be responsible for carrying out further investigations and preparing revised business proposals for submission to the Government,” Mr Bailey said.

“Those business proposals will then be considered by the Government to determine whether any of those schemes are ready to commence the transition to local management arrangements.”

The board members for the ‘investigation’ schemes are:

Bundaberg Burdekin
  • Mr Maurie Maughan (Chair)
  • Mr Dale Holliss
  • Ms Lynn Smart
  • Mr Mark Mammino
  • Mr Peter Borrows
  • Mr Phil Miller
  1. Mr Mario Barbagallo (Chair)
  2. Mr Dan Coutts
  3. Mr Evan Shannon
  4. Mr Mauro Garbuio
  5. Mr Peter Gilbey
  6. Mr Peter Hall
Lower Mary Mareeba
  • Mr Geoffrey Wormwell (Chair)
  • Mr Allan Birt
  • Mr Bernie Wilson
  • Mr Trevor Crook
  • Mr Trevor Dean
  • Mr Warwick Yates
  • Mr Joe Moro (Chair)
  • Mr Brett Stevenson
  • Mr Grahame Kirkwood
  • Ms Maryann Salvetti
  • Mr Murray Smith

Mr Bailey encouraged irrigators to work with their Boards to ensure the success of this program – that has been actively pursued by irrigators for many years.

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