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    Minister for Energy and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark McArdle

    Emerald irrigators on track to deliver local management report

    Minister for Energy and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark McArdle

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Emerald irrigators on track to deliver local management report

    Local irrigators have put a strong case for local management of channel schemes during a meeting with Water Supply Minister Mr Mark McArdle in Emerald today.

    The Emerald channel scheme is one of eight schemes owned and managed by government-owned corporation SunWater currently being considered for local management by the State Government.

    Mr McArdle said Emerald Interim Board Chair Netty Smith and her six board members had embraced the chance to investigate ways of managing the channel scheme.

    “It is pleasing to see the progress made by the Emerald Interim Board in preparing its case for local management,” Mr McArdle said.

    “The government is committed to investigating local management for channel schemes as a means of empowering local communities and encouraging the growth of the agricultural industry.”

    Ms Smith said the board was working hard to prepare its proposal before the end of the year, and planned to have a period of community consultation in early 2014.

    “The board has received strong support for its approach from the users of the scheme,” Ms Smith said.

    “Our investigations are continuing and we will be looking at the engineering due diligence report about the condition of the scheme’s major assets. 

    “We will submit a robust proposal that will give irrigators security over the scheme for generations to come.”

    Independent Chair of the Local Management Arrangements Working Group Leith Boully said the Emerald Interim Board was one of eight interim boards undertaking a long-term view of options for local management.

    “In each scheme area, locals have put a lot of time and effort into developing proposals that demonstrate how local management could work for irrigators and government,” Ms Boully said.

    Other channel schemes being considered for local management include Burdekin-Haughton, Bundaberg, Lower Mary, Eton, Mareeba-Dimbulah, St George and Theodore.

    [ENDS] 20 October 2013

    Media Contact: Francis Quinlivan 0438 730 643