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    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    Queensland irrigators in charge of their future

    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    Thursday, October 01, 2015

    Queensland irrigators in charge of their future

    Irrigators in Eton, Emerald, St George and Theodore are closer to managing their own irrigation schemes following the Queensland Government’s decision to transfer ownership of the schemes into the hands of local irrigators.

    Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark Bailey said the move fulfilled an election commitment to continue with the move towards local management of SunWater’s eight channel irrigation schemes.

    “Irrigators accessing the Eton, Emerald, St George and Theodore schemes have demonstrated their strong commitment to the local management concept,” Mr Bailey said.

    “These changes will empower local communities and encourage the growth of Queensland’s agricultural industry.

    “Local management is designed to use local knowledge and know how to reduce costs, increase productivity of the irrigation scheme, and add value to our agricultural sector.

    “Special structures are proposed to be established for these four schemes to commence the transition to local management which is likely to occur over the next 12 to 18 months, subject to agreement between irrigators and the government. 

    “The four companies will be led by boards of directors made up by local irrigators and appropriately skilled independent directors.

    “This was a process that began back in 2012 and I’m proud that the Palaszczuk Government is delivering results.”

    Mr Bailey said work would continue on the potential transition to local management for the Burdekin-Haughton, Bundaberg, Lower Mary and Mareeba-Dimbulah channel irrigation schemes.

    “Interim boards will be re-established to conduct further investigations into a potential move to local management for these schemes, and are expected to report back to the Government within 12 months,” Mr Bailey said. 

    “Local irrigators will be given the opportunity to respond to expressions of interest to become directors and members of the interim boards and special purpose vehicles in the near future.”

    Further information about the process towards local irrigator management for SunWater’s eight channel irrigation schemes is available at https://www.dews.qld.gov.au/policies-initiatives/water-sector-reform/local-management-arrangements-for-sunwater-irrigation-channels

    ENDS

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