Water security vital for ag sector
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/.