Pre­con­struc­tion work pro­gress­ing well and start on track for Emu Swamp Dam:

Project in fi­nal stages with plans for 2021 con­struc­tion

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE - SAA­VANAH BOURKE

AF­TER more than a decade of plan­ning, the Gran­ite Belt Ir­ri­ga­tion Project is closer to be­com­ing a re­al­ity.

The project team is in the fi­nal stages of pre­con­struc­tion, with con­struc­tion on track for early next year and the pos­si­bil­ity to de­liver wa­ter from 2023.

Ex­pected to create 250 jobs dur­ing con­struc­tion and 700 new full-time agri­cul­ture and sup­port­ing jobs, it is hoped the project will pro­vide a boost for the re­gion and com­mu­nity well­be­ing.

The 117km of pipe­line and 12,000 me­gal­itre dam will pro­vide wa­ter to 51 agribusi­ness cus­tomers.

Gran­ite Belt Wa­ter chair­man Dan Hunt said the project’s con­struc­tion was look­ing promis­ing for a 2021 start.

“The work be­ing done now in this pre­con­struc­tion phase will al­low us to make a for­mal de­ci­sion to pro­ceed with the project in early 2021,” Mr Hunt said.

“The lo­cal sup­port for this project in a re­gion that vir­tu­ally ran out of wa­ter in early 2020 is clear from the com­mit­ted fund­ing of $23.4 mil­lion from lo­cal ir­ri­ga­tors – the high­est pro­por­tion of pri­vate in­vest­ment in wa­ter infrastruc­ture in Queens­land’s his­tory.

“Our team is work­ing dili­gently to make the project hap­pen for the Gran­ite Belt com­mu­nity so it can trans­form the Gran­ite Belt with sus­tained eco­nomic growth and a boost to com­mu­nity re­silience,” he said.

The fo­cus dur­ing the pre­con­struc­tion phase is on con­firm­ing con­tracts with ir­ri­ga­tors, com­menc­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions with land­hold­ers and ob­tain­ing ap­provals to en­able con­struc­tion.

The project awarded en­gi­neer­ing and land ac­qui­si­tion ten­ders in May and will re­lease ten­ders to con­struct the dam and pro­vide the pipe­line infrastruc­ture in the com­ing months.

A new web­site has been launched at www.gran­ite­belt ir­ri­ga­tion­pro­ject.com.au and a shopfront on Mary­land St to in­crease com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the com­mu­nity.

OUR TEAM IS WORK­ING DILI­GENTLY TO MAKE THE PROJECT HAP­PEN FOR THE GRAN­ITE BELT COM­MU­NITY...

DAN HUNT

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