Previously unallocated water from the Gulf water catchment is being made available with the Minister for Natural Resources Anthony Lynham announcing applications can be made for 92,500 megalitres of water in the Cloncurry and Gilbert Rivers.
The Minister says the water is being made available to support agriculture projects that are shovel ready in north west communities.
Applications can be lodged online at the DNRM website and will stay open while water remains available from this release process.
“The water will be allocated on a first in, first served basis for applications that provide all of the necessary information.”
“Department of Natural Resources and Mines officers are available to assist potential applicants to work through the necessary information requirements prior to submitting their application.”
The Minister says community consultation in August in Cloncurry and Georgetown had identified some concerns particularly in relation to flexible payment options and vegetation clearing.
He says the Government has listened to those concerns and, accordingly, a range of payment options now exist.
Options are a longer term outright up front payment for a 93-year licence period or annual payments over a 20-year period. The longer term licence allows greater flexibility but requires full payment up-front at $125 per megalitre.
The alternative is an annual payment plan for a 20-year licence with the first instalment starting at $6.25 per megalitre.
This option allows those who do not have the financial capacity to pay in full the opportunity to gain access to water as a first step in developing an irrigated agriculture business. There will be an option to surrender that licence and transition to a long-term licence after five years.
Minister Lynham says the volume of water being made available reflects known demand and the need to retain water for emerging large-scale proposals.
For more information on unallocated water in the Gulf visit www.dnrm.qld.gov.au, phone 4760 0750 or email WaterInfoNorth@dnrm.qld.gov.au