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    Minister for Natural Resources and Water and Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    MINISTERIAL COUNCIL APPROVES FIRST CAPS ON QUEENSLAND’S MURRAY DARLING RIVERS

    Minister for Natural Resources and Water and Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    Friday, May 25, 2007

    MINISTERIAL COUNCIL APPROVES FIRST CAPS ON QUEENSLAND’S MURRAY DARLING RIVERS

    A meeting of Water Ministers from Murray Darling Basin states and the Commonwealth today approved Queensland-proposed caps on the amount of water than can be taken from four Queensland rivers.

    Water Minister Craig Wallace said proposed caps on the Warrego, Nebine, Paroo and Moonie Rivers were the first approved for the Murray Darling Basin in Queensland.

    The cap on the Warrego River recognises a planned auction of a further 8000 megalitres from that river system.

    “This is a tick of approval for caps proposed by Queensland and Queensland’s good water planning generally,” Mr Wallace said.

    “It shows that Queensland’s water plans are consistent with the Murray-Darling Agreement,” he said.

    “In particular it is good to see that approval has been given for the auction of the 8000ML from the Warrego.”

    In March this year the Prime Minister, John Howard, also gave the go-ahead to the Warrego auction.

    The 8000ML allocation can only be taken when there is sufficient water flows. If there are no flows nothing can be taken.

    The Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council sets caps for all Murray Darling Basin river valleys after the completion of water planning for each valley.

    The Resource Operations Plan for the four Queensland rivers were finalised in January last year.

    Caps for the remaining rivers in Queensland’s Murray Darling Basin, the Condamine Balonne system, are expected to be submitted for approval mid next year.

    Media inquiries: Paul Childs, Craig Wallace’s office, on 0407 131 654.