Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has undertaken community consultation over the phone with farmers and primary producers who use irrigation water from the Fitzroy River above the proposed site of Rookwood Weir.
This comes after claims from the Queensland Government that Rookwood Weir’s design would yield 50,000ML high priority (HP) or 76,000ML medium priority (MP) water. The urban allocation is also expected to be 19,000ML of HP water comprising of 15,000ML for Gladstone Area Water Board and 4,000ML for the Livingstone Shire Council. Final construction plans and final figures on water allocations have not been formally submitted to the Federal Government.
Ms Landry said it is vital farmers and primary producers have their say on what level of priority water they need for their farms and businesses to grow and thrive.
“The feedback I’m getting from farmers is extremely valuable and I wish to thank them for taking the time to speak to me, especially now during the coronavirus pandemic,” Ms Landry said.
“Central Queensland farmers have been living on the land for generation. They have their heads screwed on and they know what they need.
The feedback received from farmers and primary producers consisted of:
• A lack of general information on how the project is progressing, creating uncertainty around farmers’ decisions to employ more staff and invest in equipment and infrastructure.
• A lack of consultation on behalf of the Queensland Government regarding final water allocations for farmers.
• Little to no progress made on land acquisitions and purchases.
• General support for the construction of the Riverslea Bridge.
Ms Landry said the devil will be in the details when it comes to deciding between medium priority and high priority water.
“While the hydrologic modelling I’ve received indicates that medium priority water is the most typical water used by the agricultural sector across Queensland and that high priority water is not typically used for irrigation, there are some instances of high priority water being used for agricultural purposes.
Ms Landry said if the water allocation is sufficient for farmers at the moment, it’s critical to plan for the future needs of Central Queensland.
‘The Queensland Government can’t short change future generations of farmers and primary producers when it comes to the water priority of Rookwood Weir.
“The last thing I want are bureaucrats based in Brisbane making the decisions when farmers haven’t even been consulted.”
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