Build­ing wa­ter se­cu­rity

Central and North Rural Weekly - - OPINION - DAVID THOMSON Grow­com CEO

LOCK­YER Val­ley ir­ri­ga­tors are a step closer to se­cur­ing a con­stant wa­ter sup­ply.

The group has ob­tained a $1.4 mil­lion grant from the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment to de­velop a Lock­yer Val­ley and Som­er­set Wa­ter Se­cu­rity busi­ness case.

The an­nounce­ment of the busi­ness case is a mile­stone for farmers in the re­gion who have long de­sired wa­ter se­cu­rity for their farms.

A board con­sist­ing of grower-rep­re­sen­ta­tives and lo­cal gov­ern­ment has been formed to help in the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of the project which is man­aged by Busi­ness Queens­land.

The project is set to in­ves­ti­gate all wa­ter op­tions and pipe­line routes avail­able, such as Wiven­hoe Dam wa­ter, re­cy­cled wa­ter, or com­bi­na­tions of wa­ter sources, to find a so­lu­tion that ben­e­fits the en­tire com­mu­nity.

Along with green-light­ing the busi­ness case, the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment has also ap­proved up to

$1.9 mil­lion in grants for both the Toowoomba and Lock­yer Val­ley re­gional coun­cils to ad­vance in­fra­struc­ture projects from ideas into solid pro­pos­als, un­der round two of the Ma­tur­ing the In­fra­struc­ture Pipe­line Pro­gram.

Grow­com com­mends the Som­er­set and Lock­yer coun­cils, along with fruit and veg­etable grow­ers across each re­gions, for their hard work and team ef­fort in achiev­ing this re­sult.

It’s en­cour­ag­ing to see lo­cal gov­ern­ments take se­ri­ously the is­sues ir­ri­ga­tors in the area are fac­ing.

This is a pos­i­tive step to­wards cre­at­ing wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture that will prop­erly serve the needs of grow­ers do­ing it tough.

Although fund­ing has been se­cured, now is not the time to get com­pla­cent.

Grow­ers must knuckle down and present our case to the gov­ern­ment to en­sure wa­ter se­cu­rity for the bet­ter­ment of our com­mu­ni­ties.

As the peak body for hor­ti­cul­ture in Queens­land, Grow­com is proud to be a lead­ing voice for grow­ers across the state and will con­tinue to work with gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try to de­velop wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture so­lu­tions for fruit and veg­etable pro­duc­ers.

PHOTO: DAVID NIELSEN

WA­TER CASE: Wiven­hoe Dam may fig­ure in a busi­ness case for Lock­yer Val­ley and Som­er­set wa­ter se­cu­rity.

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