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The Federal Government has announced it will be funding two preliminary business cases for water infrastructure projects in Central Queensland, providing $3.7 million to fully fund investigations into future construction and upgrades of water infrastructure – through the National Water Grid Fund.

The funding is aiming to bolster water reliability and provide the additional water needed to grow local agricultural and primary industries.

The funding includes:

  • $2 million towards the Paranui Weir preliminary business case
  • $1.7 million towards the Bedford Weir Raising preliminary business case

The preliminary business case for the Paranui Weir will investigate options for a new weir along the Dawson River, with a storage capacity of 11.5Gl, equivalent to more than 4,500 Olympic swimming pools.

The preliminary business case for the Bedford Weir Raising project will explore the benefits and viability of raising the current weirs wall by 1.2 metres, which would increase water storage capacity by 5Gl. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said this latest funding demonstrates the Government’s commitment to delivering the reliable water farmers and agricultural producers in Queensland need to thrive.

“Water supply and security helps form the backbone of so many Central Queensland communities, underpinning local agricultural and primary businesses, jobs, economies and the home-grown food and fibre much of Australia and the world enjoys,” Mr Joyce said. 

“That’s why we’ve put this funding on the table, to take the first step towards increasing local water supply and security, by delivering the planning work needed to identify the right water infrastructure for Central Queensland.

“This builds on the range of construction projects and business cases we are already investing in across the state under our $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund.”

Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, said water was like gold for local farmers and their communities. 

“The Paranui Weir could provide the additional water needed to meet future irrigation demand across up to 30,000 hectares of land, to support agricultural and primary industry growth in the region,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“And the Bedford Weir Raising project would improve water reliability in the Nagoa Mackenzie Water Supply Scheme, benefitting agricultural producers across the region.

“The Nagoa Mackenzie Water Supply Scheme services the water needs of many Central Queensland communities, supplying irrigation water for a variety of locally grown food as well as underpinning local mining operations.

“I know just how vital the benefits of these projects could be for all these local industries, their workers and the communities that rely on them, which is why we are committing the funds needed to deliver the preliminary business cases.

“Our investments in the National Water Grid are all about supporting regional economic growth, employment and prosperity and I’m pleased to be backing that here for Central Queensland.”

By investing in 70 construction projects and more than 60 business cases, the Federal Government’s National Water Grid Fund is aiming to boost national water security, whilst promoting local economic activity and job creation.

For more information on the National Water Grid, visit: www.nationalwatergrid.gov.au.

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