Delivering water infrastructure for jobs and growth in Hinkler and Flynn

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Coalition is getting on with the job of delivering our water infrastructure needs, today announcing $1.2 million to fast track a feasibility study of the Gayndah Regional Irrigation Development project.

The project is part of a $150 million funding commitment to fast-track water infrastructure projects across Queensland announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce yesterday.

“The Coalition is expediting the planning work required to get water infrastructure projects shovel-ready because we are serious about ensuring water infrastructure gets built as quickly as possible, to help support strong regional economies and communities,” Minister Joyce said.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the study will look at the feasibility of new water storage and irrigation infrastructure options that could provide up to an additional 28,000 million litres to develop 6,800 hectares for sugarcane in the Gayndah region of the Burnett River catchment and boost production by almost 500,000 tonnes.

“This in turn could result in the creation of an estimated 92 jobs and $60 million a year for the regional economy. This project could also result in reinstating the crest level of Claude Wharton Weir,” Mr Pitt said.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd welcomed the government’s decision and was buoyant at the prospect of greater water security for the North Burnett.

“Announcements like this, coupled with the work this government has done to open new export markets shows how committed we are to having businesses in the bush not only survive, but to thrive,” he said.

“The North Burnett has some of the most fertile volcanic soils in the country. Couple this with an unpredictable climate and water security fast becomes a priority.

“I’m confident that with projects like this, the North Burnett can return to the fore-front of the state’s primary industry,” Mr O’Dowd said.

Also announced today is $750,000 to fast-track a feasibility study into upgrading the capacity of the Bundaberg Channel.

Mr Pitt said the study will look at the most effective options for channel upgrades, improved water security and augmentation of the Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme, with the possibility of 100,000 million litres of additional water available for use.

“It will also look at the potential of the additional water to supply new and existing customers within the scheme or in new areas outside the scheme.”

Minister Joyce said the Coalition was delivering on its $2.5 billion commitment to building the water infrastructure of the future.

“The Coalition is taking action by carrying out the most significant investment in infrastructure in Australian history, including through the roll-out of our $15 billion water reform agenda, so we can make the most of these opportunities.”

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