Ben­e­fits plus in Clon­curry project Dam study fires re­gion

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DANNI SHAFIK danielle. shafik@ news. com. au

A PRO­POSED dam on the Clon­curry River could open ma­jor agri­cul­tural and in­dus­trial op­por­tu­ni­ties for the re­gion.

Ja­cobs Group ( Aus­tralia) Pty Lim­ited has been ap­pointed by re­gional de­vel­op­ment group the Mount Isa to Townsville Eco­nomic Zone ( MITEZ) to look into the fea­si­bil­ity of con­struct­ing the pro­posed Clon­curry River dam.

Clon­curry Shire Council Mayor Greg Camp­bell said he was ex­cited by the study and the po­ten­tial ben­e­fits of a dam.

“One of the main driv­ers for a ma­jor stor­age on the Clon­curry River is to pro­vide suf­fi­cient, af­ford­able water to de­velop an ir­ri­gated agri­cul­ture precinct, ad­di­tional water for in­dus­try and water se­cu­rity for our com­mu­ni­ties, which is es­sen­tial if we are to fur­ther de­velop the North,” he said.

“If the com­pleted fea­si­bil­ity study in­di­cates a dam on the Clon­curry River is vi­able, this will en­able pro­po­nents to ap­ply to the Com­mon­wealth’s Water In­fra­struc­ture Fund for a con­tri­bu­tion to­wards con­struc­tion of the dam.”

MITEZ pres­i­dent David Glas­son said Ja­cobs brought ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in the de­liv­ery of sim­i­lar stud­ies for water stor­age fa­cil­i­ties across Queens­land and na­tion­ally.

Un­der Queens­land Gov­ern­ment guide­lines, Ja­cobs will de­liver a pre­lim­i­nary busi­ness case by Novem­ber and a de­tailed busi­ness case by De­cem­ber next year.

Ja­cobs project man­ager An­gus MacDon­ald said his team was de­lighted to be in­volved in the project.

“We will en­gage with key stake­hold­ers around Clon­curry, take a for­ward- look­ing ap­proach to the de­mand as­sess­ment and con­sider a di­ver­sity of agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

“Ja­cobs has also man­aged and de­liv­ered many large mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary stud­ies with a fo­cus on water in­fra­struc­ture, hy­dro­ge­ol­ogy, agron­omy and agribusi­ness, along with ben­e­fits- cost anal­y­sis.”

In March last year the North­west Queens­land Water Sup­ply Strat­egy In­ves­ti­ga­tion was com­pleted and its fi­nal report iden­ti­fied a ma­jor water stor­age up­stream along the Clon­curry River would pro­vide the best op­tion for the Clon­curry and Mount Isa re­gion.

The fea­si­bil­ity study will pro­vide far greater anal­y­sis to con­firm the vi­a­bil­ity and ben­e­fits of the pro­posal. The study is funded by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Na­tional Water In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Fund, an ini­tia­tive of the North­ern Aus­tralia and Agri­cul­tural Com­pet­i­tive­ness White Pa­pers.

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