The Federal Government has announced $6.6 million in funding to kick-start feasibility studies for seven major water projects in Queensland.
Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, said the government was determined to fast-track the water infrastructure projects in Queensland as a part of its signature National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.
The seven project feasibility studies, in addition to the Nullinga Dam study which has already begun, include:
- Bundaberg Channel Capacity Upgrade – the assessment of potential locations for new broad scale irrigation developments in the Wide Bay Burnett region, supported by concept level engineering to identify options for water delivery to these areas
- Gayndah Regional Irrigation Development – investigating the feasibility of developing water resources through reinstating the crest level of Claude Wharton Weir, utilising existing water reserves and the transfer of unutilised water allocations to service priority irrigation areas in the Reids Creek and Byrnestown/Wetherton areas
- Lockyer Valley Aquifer Recharge – investigating options for alternative secure water supplies and innovative water delivery mechanisms to agricultural users in the Lockyer Creek catchment
- Burdekin Falls Dam Raising – assessing potential costs, demand for water from, and environmental impacts of, raising the Burdekin Falls Dam to provide water and supply security for urban, agriculture and industrial developments in the region
- Burdekin Haughton Channel – investigating the channel capacity limitations and feasibility of options for augmenting the Burdekin Haughton Water Supply Scheme to facilitate the use of available water allocations
- Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure – assessing the feasibility of the project to address water supply security and economic development opportunities within the region
- Clermont Water Security – assessing the feasibility of securing reliable long-term water supply for Clermont and development in the Galilee Basin through new and upgraded major water infrastructure for Clermont and augmentation and remediation works on the Theresa Creek Dam
“Today’s announcement takes the total funding approved for Queensland by the Coalition Government to $11.6 million for feasibility studies, including Nullinga Dam. But my clear message to the Queensland Government is that I have a further $13.2 million on the table for a remaining seven projects,” Mr Joyce said.
“Dams for our nation are a tangible vision overwhelmingly supported Australians.
“Queensland’s agriculture sector makes an important contribution to our nation’s economy, worth almost $12 billion – or 22 per cent of our nation’s total agricultural production.”
Mr Joyce said the federal government is backing up the feasibility studies with a further $2.44 billion available nationally for capital works under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.
“We have already earmarked $130 million of this capital funding for Rookwood Weir, a project which has the potential to double agricultural production in the region, unlocking an additional $1 billion in production value,” Mr Joyce said.
“We are currently accepting applications from state and territory governments for nearly $200 million of grant funding that is uncommitted.”