Mayors hail moves to release irrigation water
INLAND mayors have welcomed a State Government move to increase irrigation water allocations from the Gilbert and Flinders rivers.
Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham yesterday announced that a combined 92,500 megalitres would be made available from both rivers in late August.
Richmond Mayor John Wharton said there was no indication as yet about how much the Government intended charging for the water.
Cr Wharton ( right) also said he would have preferred 92,500 megalitres from each of the rivers. “We’ve got landholders who missed out on the previous allocations and who can take 10,000 to 20,000 megalitres,” he said.
Etheridge Shire Council Mayor Warren Devlin said he was happy with the allocation and that his council was work- ing on a Tasmanian- based irrigation model that would eventually see 40,000ha of land available for irrigation.
He said the plan involved in- stream and an off- stream storage on the Gilbert River.
AgForce water spokesman Kim Bremmer said the allocations was a positive step to unlocking the “enormous potential for irrigated agriculture” in the northwest.