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

    New water plan delivers for growers

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

    Wednesday, July 01, 2015

    New water plan delivers for growers

    New water rules for the Pioneer Valley that take effect today (1 July 2015) will tackle salination and give canegrowers flexibility to grow their businesses.

    Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said a revised Pioneer Valley Resource Operations Plan reflected consultation and submissions from the local community, including canegrowers and councils.

    “The revised plan gives canegrowers and other rural producers in the Valley the confidence and flexibility they need to manage their businesses,” he said.

    “The plan also puts in place a long-term strategy to tackle seawater intrusion, which has left many local freshwater bores highly saline and unusable.

    “The long term goal is to ultimately be able to recover usable water from the affected areas.”

    The new plan:

    •  reduces the amount of groundwater that growers can use in coastal areas to minimise the risk of further seawater intrusion.
    •  converts most of the Valley’s 400-plus growers’ existing groundwater licences to tradeable water allocations. This means farmers can expand their operations by buying water allocations from other growers.
    •  limits groundwater entitlements to previously unmanaged water users. Dr Lynham said this measure ensured water resources were being shared fairly by all local users.
    •  introduces groundwater allocations tailored much more closely to local conditions and water availability. Groundwater under the revised plan is now allocated in 43 zones, rather than seven large ones, across the Valley.

    Dr Lynham said this meant that the water allocations were based on conditions in growers’ immediate area, rather than up to 50 kilometres away.

    The changes also mean surface water licences now state how much water can be taken. Previously the water take was based on a defined area used for cropping.

    Download the plan.

    Read more.

    More information:

    t:          1800 822 100

    e:         CWWaterApprovalsMackay@dnrm.qld.gov.au

    ENDS                         30 June 2015

    Media contact:            Jan Martin       3719 7370       0439 341 314