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In response to worsening drought conditions, the Queensland Government has announced that it will invest $468,000 into infrastructure to boost water availability on Queensland’s 2.6 million hectare stock route network.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps announced the capital works funding for regional councils managing stock routes during the Community Cabinet meeting in Emerald today.

“Stock routes have been an integral part of Queensland’s rural history for more than 150 years, particularly for their role in providing feed for livestock,” Mr Cripps said.

“As dry conditions spread in regional Queensland, stock owners are being forced to move stock, resulting in a spike in stock route usage.

“The Queensland Government will spend $468,000 in 2013-14 for stock route capital works projects to assist in upgrading and replacing water facilities along the most frequently used roads and reserves.”

Mr Cripps said the 72,000 kilometre stock route network is currently experiencing additional strain on watering points due to drought.

“It is important we invest in our stock routes as they support our agricultural industry, which is one of the key pillars of the Queensland economy,” he said.

“This funding boost will be invested into improving access for large water tankers to dry stock route water points, installing solar panels to run water pumps, replacing flowing bore drains with watering facilities, replacing water troughs and tanks and de-silting water point facilities.

“I am pleased to see $15,000 funding has been allocated to the Central Highlands Regional Council to provide vehicle access for large water tankers to six dry stock route water facilities.

“A further $38,000 has been allocated for the council to replace windmills with solar-driven pumps at Reserve 13 and Minerva as well as install an electric pump and pipeline at Capella.

“There are similar council projects across the vast stock route network from Winton and Longreach in the west, Cloncurry and Richmond in the north, and right down through Murweh, Western Downs, Maranoa, Balonne and Goondiwindi in the south.”

More information about stock route management is available at: www.nrm.qld.gov.au/land/stockroutes and specific funding allocations are in table attached.

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