WATER DRYING UP
Boyne River farmers fear water is running out :
MUNDUBBERA irrigators who use water from the Boyne River are worried their access to the water could soon dry up.
Boyne River Irrigators Group spokesman Mark Postle said producers learned from SunWater that water from the Boondooma dam, which supplies the Boyne, would be cut off in early March.
“In 2013 we had the biggest floods in one hundred years,” Mr Postle said.
“Most of us were of the opinion the dam would be right for a lot longer than four years,”he said.
“The cut-off point in the dam was put in place in 1993, when it reaches 35% or 70,000mgs.
“That was put in place to protect Tarong Power Station and allow them to keep operating.
“Since then a pipeline has been put in fromWivenhoe Dam to Tarong, that can supply Tarong’s needs.”
A SunWater spokesperson said the pipeline between the Tarong Power Station andWivenhoe Dam, which is operated by SEQWater and Stanwell, was damaged in 2011.
They said Boondooma Dam had not received any significant inflow since January 2015 and had been (going down) gradually since March 2013 when it was at 100% capacity.
As per the Burnett Basin Resource Operations Plan, once Boondooma Dam level goes below EL 268.67 m AHD (about 70,000 ML), medium priority water releases must stop to preserve highpriority water, the spokesperson said.
The Tarong Power Station buys access to high-priority water from Boondooma Dam, and irrigators buy medium-priority water.
Mr Postle said: “The Boyne irrigators are very concerned as one would have thought that with the cut-off point coming up, some urgency would have been to get theWivenhoe to Tarong pipeline working.
“We have askedWater Supply Minister Mark Bailey would he urgently consider revisiting the cut-off point and when you get to the cut-off, Tarong goes to the pipeline and the farmers get looked after,” he said.
“Farmers need to keep producing all the fresh produce the Boyne is renowned for.”
Mr Postle said the loss of the water, even for a few months, would have a devastating effect on Mundubbera.
“It will effect every single business in our town,” he said.
“They won’t have the money in the town, the money won’t be here, because no water means the crops won’t be growing.
“The biggest thing too is a lot of these guys have long- term crops, longterm products and infrastructure, it’s not a seasonal thing.
“900 people are employed between all the farms on the Boyne; $90 million is produced off that river.
“If you lose them, to hint they can suggest cutting the water off when Tarong has an alternative supply is beyond my comprehension.”
Mr Postle said he hoped the minister would understand their plight.
“It’s easy to rectify,” he said.
“Hopefully they will recognise the value of our farmers and the produce they produce and the product, a lot of pigs, a lot of cattle fattened on irrigated pasture.”
SunWater invited irrigators and Tarong representatives to a meeting in Mundubbera yesterday to discuss the dam.
WORRIED: Dave Innes, Blade McKenzie, Mark Postle and Matthew Postle are not impressed with the Boyne River situation.
SAVE OUR SUPPLY: Dave Innes, Blade McKenzie, Mark Postle and Matthew Postle are not impressed with the Boyne River situation.