Funding for water a goer for Nogoa irrigators

Central Queensland's agricultural communities will benefit from more reliable access to water, with the Liberal & Nationals Government approving funding arrangements to modernise the Nogoa Mackenzie Water Supply Sheme.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the major infrastructure project will deliver more reliable water, improved agricultural production and stronger regional communities in Central Queensland.

“The Australian and Queensland governments have agreed on the construction milestones and works will get underway in early 2019 to tackle the water transmission losses and inefficiencies that hinder the existing supply scheme,” Mr McCormack said.

“This project forms part of the Liberal and Nationals Government's historic $1.3 billion investment under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, which will further enhance water security and unlock regional Australia's huge social and economic potential.”

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the scheme, which supplies around 15,000 hectares of irrigated land, would deliver up to an additional 6,460 megalitres of water once modernisation works are complete.

“Lining key sections of the Selma channel systems and installing new gauging stations and position monitoring weir gates will reduce water losses, while the additional flowmeters, data loggers and back-to-base communications on customer offtakes along the Nogoa and Mackenzie Rivers will better manage water delivery,” Mr O'Dowd said.

LNP Senator Matthew Canavan said the additional $500 million for water infrastructure projects the Liberal and Nationals Government had put on the table was a down payment on the future prosperity of regional Queensland.

“The key to unlocking wealth throughout North and Central Queensland is water,” Senator Canavan said.

“This project delivers on the Liberal & Nationals Government's water infrastructure commitments under the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia and builds on other recent projects announced for Central Queensland.

“I now call on the Queensland Government to get serious about the Rookwood project outside Rockhampton, and to support other important water projects throughout the state, including the Pinnacles Dam, Urannah Dam and the Connors River project.”

The Nogoa Mackenzie Water Supply Scheme is expected to support up to 46 direct jobs and a further 132 indirect jobs for the broader region, while also providing a major boost to local growers and the opportunity to move to higher value crops such as macadamias.

The $11.762 million project is jointly funded with the Liberal & Nationals' Government committing $3.011 million through the $1.3 billion National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and SunWater committing $8.751 million.