QFF has welcomed new laws passed by the Queensland Government allowing the temporary release of water reserved for future infrastructure including dams and weirs to provide opportunistic supply.
“QFF has long advocated for Queensland’s strategic water reserves to be made available to farmers and allow them to capitalise on the existing infrastructure opportunities.”
“Queensland’s 23 water plans currently set aside about 990,000 megalitres of water as strategic infrastructure reserves which could be utilised by the state’s irrigators for high value agriculture.”
“But critical to the success of this initiative is the issue of decreasing water affordability.”
“It will be important for the government to make this water available at costs that reflect its short-term availability, any seasonal conditions of supply, the additional costs that farmers may face in establishing on farm infrastructure and the high electricity costs of pumping.”
“For Queensland to continue producing world class food, fibre and foliage, agriculture must have access to reliable and affordable water.”
The changes will also require government planners and any future Minister to address potential climate change effects and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ values in future water planning.
“It is critical that the impacts of any changes to water plans forecasting and cultural needs be fully and transparently assessed in consultation with QFF, industry and water users.”