Water security key for growers

Nullinga Dam vital for agriculture in Far North Queensland

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Calls for action to secure water supply for Queensland cane growers.

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MSF Sugar CEO Mike Barry and former State Treasurer Curtis Pitt discuss the challenges faced by the sugarcane industry at MSF Sugar’s Mulgrave Mill earlier this year.

MSF Sugar CEO Mike Barry and former State Treasurer Curtis Pitt discuss the challenges faced by the sugarcane industry at MSF Sugar’s Mulgrave Mill earlier this year.

A RENEWED push for critical infrastructure projects to guarantee water security for cane growers on the Tablelands and Fraser Coast will ramp up in 2018.

MSF Sugar CEO Mike Barry said inconsistent weather conditions and ongoing drought experienced across the Fraser Coast and Tableland regions reiterated the need for additional water storage.

“With yet another dry growing season experienced in both the Maryborough and Tableland regions, our attention in the coming months will now turn back to water security,” Mr Barry said.

“On behalf of MSF Sugar and our growers, we call on the new Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Barnaby Joyce, and the new Minister for Agriculture and Water David Littleproud, to take action on the Glendorf Off-Stream Storage Facility funding proposal submitted by SunWater in September to improve water security for the Fraser Coast.

“We also call on the new Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, to action the full business case for Nullinga Dam on the Atherton Tableland.

“Both infrastructure projects are critical for growth in regional Queensland – it is essential that we have water security in place for the future.”

In September, Mr Barry said the company was “happy to support and underwrite” the Nullinga Dam project because it was “vital” to their Tableland expansion plans.

Nullinga Dam, which is on the Walsh River, has been proposed as a future water supply to serve growing urban demand in Cairns and stimulate irrigated agriculture in the region, by supplementing existing supplies.

The LNP promised to invest $10 million towards the environmental impact statement to help ensure the development of Nullinga Dam during the State election campaign.

Building Queensland has completed a preliminary business case for Nullinga Dam, but Labor did not match the funding commitment.

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