Irrigators holding tradeable surface water entitlements in the Lower Balonne and Queensland Border Rivers were eligible for funding as part of Round Six of the Healthy HeadWaters Water Use Efficiency Project valued at $154.9 million.
According to the joint statement by Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham and Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps, the Government will provide funding for 12 projects under this round of funding, with $11.2 million intended to improve the efficiency of irrigation infrastructure on farmers properties and save nearly three billion litres of water annually in the Queensland Murray Darling Basin.
“Of these water savings, an average of 1.7 billion litres per year will be provided to the Commonwealth for environmental watering. By focusing our water recovery efforts in the Basin on improving the efficiency of water use on and off farm we can deliver a balanced outcome for the economy, for Murray Darling communities and for a healthy river system,” said Senator Birmingham.
The Senator pointed out that water recovery through infrastructure investments will remain one of the top priorities of the Government.
“This funding will allow irrigators to make water storages more efficient and convert from flood irrigation to centre pivot systems. It will deliver economic benefits for irrigators and businesses and will help sustain local communities as they adjust to a future with less water. I am also pleased to see more irrigators are now eligible for funding after recent changes to the inflexible and impractical rules imposed by the former federal Labour government,” said Mr Cripps.
Mr Cripps further added that the Abbott Government deserves commendation for taking the necessary steps to implement these changes.