November 1, 2019
An extra $1.5 million has been allocated by the Federal Government to the South and North Burnett water feasibility study, taking the total funding commitment for the project to $3.5 million.
The extra money will allow the study to be extended to include an assessment of the benefits and viability of the Coalstoun Lakes Irrigation Pipeline project.
The idea of a pipeline linking Paradise Dam, near Biggenden, to Coalstoun Lakes has long been suggested, although Paradise Dam itself is not mentioned in Friday’s Federal Government announcement.
A suggestion that a pipeline to Coalstoun Lakes could be extended further south to connect with the Tarong pipeline was also raised at South Burnett Regional Council consultation meetings with irrigators earlier this year.
In September, South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell called for the new information about the lower-capacity Paradise Dam to be “seriously taken into consideration” during the South and North Burnett study.
Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said on Friday work on the original $2 million water study was already under way.
“(It) will identify and investigate options for new infrastructure to increase water supply and security in Queensland’s Burnett region,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“This additional $1.5 million from the National Water Infrastructure and Development Fund will help us get a better understanding of how an expanded Coalstoun Lakes Pipeline could support cane, peanut, avocado and other irrigation crops in the region.”
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Liberal and Nationals Government had a strong track record when it came to water infrastructure.
“We are taking action and initiative to secure Australia’s water future committing more than $3.5 billion through the $1.5 billion National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and the $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility to build dams, weirs and pipelines,” he said.
“The $100 million National Water Grid Authority is a key component of the government’s future water security measures – to take politics out of the debate and to insert the science, to break through talk and to begin serious water security for a growing Australia in the 21st century.
“The authority will consider propositions such as elements of the Bradfield Scheme – which the Queensland LNP is also committed to (see separate report) – and provide a long term strategy to harvest and store water in the wet years for use in the dry years.
“Funding feasibility studies for projects such as the Coalstoun Lakes Irrigation Pipeline is about water security for all Australians.”