Cotton irrigation on Macander, Moura
Cotton irrigation on Macander, Moura Contributed

CQ irrigators given access to more water

FOURTEEN irrigators and irrigation groups along the Dawson River were given access to more than 69,000 megalitres of water annually for three years, in a move the State government hopes will to drive jobs and growth in central Queensland.

The act will allow "temporary access to strategic water infrastructure reserves" previously not available to irrigators according to Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham.

He said the successful Queenslanders had until the 19 August to accept the offer and expected them to jump at the unique opportunity after putting the call out earlier this year.

"Water is the lifeblood of the region, and with this water, landholders will be able to grow their cotton, beef, grain, and fodder farming enterprises over the next three years," he said.

"Local jobs also will be created to develop the infrastructure needed to support accessing and storing this water, further helping to grow the economy in this region.

"Water could flow as early as the October 1

"It is a huge water win for the community with farmers also getting the water at a fixed price."

Dr Lynham said the decision to release the strategic water infrastructure reserve from the Dawson River was the result of "extensive consultation and collaboration with the local community."

"While we have made the decision to release this strategic water reserve it is not at the expense of the environment - environmental flows will remain to support the health of the river system," he said.

"The success of this pilot water release could pave the way for future releases in other areas across the state."

Fifteen applications for the 90,000 megalitres on offer were submitted to the department, of which 14 were approved for a total of 69,000 megalitres.