The Queensland Government is undertaking a $1.4 million business case into potential water supply options for the Lockyer Valley, supporting a suite of initiatives to maximise water for irrigators.

Queensland Natural Resources Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said the detailed business case would look into water supply options in order to improve the productivity and sustainability of the Lockyer Valley agricultural industry.

“We understand our farmers and irrigators are doing it tough with bushfires, COVID-19 and around two-thirds of Queensland still drought declared,” Dr Lynham said.

“Because of our strong health response to COVID-19, we are already delivering on Queensland’s plan for economic recovery – and that includes infrastructure.

“We need to keep our farmers in business for our food and fibre and to create jobs, just like other Queensland employers.

“Investing in better water infrastructure for our agricultural industry provides water security for growth and jobs into the future.”

The detailed business case is expected to be completed by October 2020.

Other water supply initiatives being investigated by Seqwater for the Lockyer region include:

  • Preparing business cases to improve performance of weirs
  • Upgrades of Bill Gunn Dam diversion pipeline
  • A new secondary pipeline into Clarendon Dam

It comes after the Queensland Government announced it would freeze irrigation prices for a year and absorb dam safety costs, as part of ongoing measures to support Queensland business and industry through the COVID-19 crisis.

“This means on average, irrigators will be roughly $400 a year better off this financial year than last,” Dr Lynham said.

”The government will monitor conditions over the next 12 months before it reassesses prices for the following year.”

Since 2017, the Queensland Government has committed $1.2 billion to water infrastructure across the state, supporting almost 2,300 regional jobs.

This includes:

  • $176 million for Rookwood Weir
  • $410 million for the Haughton Pipeline Duplication Project (Stage 1 & 2) in Townsville and sealing a $24 million deal for the next stage of assessment for the proposed Hells Gates Dam and Big Rocks Weir
  • A $16.5 million contribution to modernising an existing open channel irrigation scheme on the Atherton Tablelands
  • $13.6 million to kick start the new Emu Swamp Dam

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