Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Anthony Lynham

    Minister delivers good news for local irrigators

    Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Anthony Lynham

    Thursday, June 18, 2015

    Minister delivers good news for local irrigators

    Irrigators in the Lower Balonne area will soon have greater flexibility to manage and trade their water allocations.

    Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said today that irrigators could expect changes to local water resource planning rules by the end of July.

    “This change to the Condamine and Balonne Resource Operations Plan 2008 will be welcome news for irrigators around St George and Dirranbandi,” Dr Lynham said.

    "Under the previous Resource Operations Plan, Lower Balonne water users were not able to trade a water entitlement that was linked to an on-farm storage.

    “This change will give Lower Balonne landholders greater flexibility and more incentive to trade part of their water entitlements.

    “This will remove an obstacle to irrigators participating in pro-active water management programs like Healthy Headwaters Water Use Efficiency Project.”

    The Commonwealth Government’s Murray-Darling Basin Program is based on water recovery and buyback process. Under proposed changes, irrigators will be able to remove the link before they trade part of their water entitlement, for example to the Commonwealth, then have the flexibility to choose whether or not to re-link the water entitlement to the on-farm storage or keep it separate.

    “Importantly, this amendment will not result in an increase in long-term average annual water take from the Murray-Darling Basin,” Dr Lynham said.

    He said the change followed requests by water users in the Lower Balonne Water Management Area.

    “The changes will only apply to the Lower Balonne Water Management Area and similar changes are not necessary in other areas of the Murray Darling Basin.”

    Dr Lynham is in the south-west for two days visiting rural properties and talking to landholders and business and community leaders.

    ENDS             18 June, 2015

    Media contact:           Jan Martin     3719 7370       0439 341 314