Wa­ter se­cu­rity vi­tal for ag sec­tor

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Front Page -

THE need for farm­ers to have af­ford­able and sus­tain­able wa­ter for agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion is once again shap­ing up to be a ma­jor elec­tion pri­or­ity ac­cord­ing to the Queens­land Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion.

For Queens­land to con­tinue pro­duc­ing world-class food, fi­bre and fo­liage it must prop­erly plan and al­lo­cate wa­ter for agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion, par­tic­u­larly in a chang­ing cli­mate.

Cur­rent chal­lenges in­clude a lack of wa­ter for growth in some of the state’s most highly pro­duc­tive agri­cul­tural ar­eas, plan­ning de­ci­sions and elec­tric­ity costs un­der­min­ing the vi­a­bil­ity of some schemes, and ris­ing ground­wa­ter.

QFF pres­i­dent Stu­art Ar­mitage out­lined how crit­i­cal the is­sue of wa­ter avail­abil­ity, ac­ces­si­bil­ity and af­ford­abil­ity were for the state’s farm­ers and the re­gional com­mu­ni­ties they sup­port.

“Queens­land farm­ers are amongst the most ef­fi­cient and pro­duc­tive users of wa­ter in the world, and wa­ter is the lifeblood for more than 5500 ir­ri­gated farm busi­nesses,” he said.

“Wa­ter cre­ates op­por­tu­nity – for both farm­ers and for the busi­nesses in the towns that ser­vice our sec­tor.

“Agri­cul­ture is re­spon­si­ble for the man­age­ment and use of 60% of the state’s wa­ter; how­ever, the man­age­ment, plan­ning, reg­u­la­tion, mod­el­ling, qual­ity, and crit­i­cally, pric­ing of agri­cul­tural wa­ter is spread across five de­part­ments and min­is­te­rial port­fo­lios.

“We need to get ac­cess, pric­ing, gov­er­nance and ad­min­is­tra­tion of agri­cul­tural wa­ter right if we are to take ad­van­tage of the grow­ing de­mand from do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets for high qual­ity agri­cul­tural prod­ucts.”

Mr Ar­mitage rec­om­mended a range of prac­ti­cal ac­tions that could be taken.

The full QFF Pol­icy Plat­form and its sum­mary are avail­able www.qff.org.au/queens­land -elec­tion/.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.