Cr Kirstie Schumacher
(Photo: SBRC)

May 21, 2022

The deadline to submit information to the Sunwater survey into local irrigators’ water needs has been extended to June 17.

This survey, commissioned by the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water, is part of the State Government’s Bundaberg Burnett Regional Water Assessment.

It is assessing the future water requirements for the Burnett and Bundaberg regions over the next 30 years.

The area involved includes all the South Burnett, Cherbourg, North Burnett and Bundaberg council areas.

South Burnett Regional Council is urging irrigators to take part in the survey.

“Whenever you ask government to invest in a water project you must be able to demonstrate that the agricultural or economic benefits are greater than the cost of the project,” Cr Kirstie Schumacher said.

“As part of the National Water Infrastructure Development Funding, Council has been working with stakeholders to commence a demand assessment to inform securing additional water for Blackbutt irrigators, as well as the consideration of potential agricultural uses for Gordonbrook Dam and to support the Barlil and West Barambah Weirs project.

“We have been working with irrigators to understand how they would use additional water and how much they would be willing to pay. That information will dovetail into Sunwater’s Regional Water Assessment.

“The purpose of this survey is to understand the water needs of operators in our region, beyond the existing projects currently under way and to demonstrate to the State Government that providing reliable water to the South Burnett stacks up.

“If you have any interest in future water for our region or your operations, I’d strongly encourage you to complete the survey, even if you don’t have a specific project in mind or know of a specific water source. We must demonstrate to government that to really drive our economy forward, all we need is water.

“It’s never been more important for the South Burnett to unite in our bid for water and speak up about its water needs.

“We have been assured by the project team that the work that we’ve already undertaken will be included, which is critical to the projects we’ve identified.

“While we all want to see shovels in the ground and are ready for projects like the Barlil and West Barambah weirs to progress to business case and construction, Sunwater’s process is critical to any future State Government decision on water infrastructure projects.

“This is also an opportunity to further progress the long list of options identified in the South & North Burnett Options Analysis and ensure they are not forgotten.

“Regardless of whether you have been involved in the conversations to date or not, I urge you to complete this survey.

“Our ability to deliver water infrastructure projects in our region depends on it.”

  • External link: The survey can be completed online

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