TWELVE thousand megalitres of unallocated water will go to the highest bidder with a water auction to be held in the Far North.
Farmers and businesses in the Babinda and Gordonvale areas will have a chance to bid on the water next month.
Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said the water would allow the successful bidders to grow their operations and in turn boost the Far North’s economy.
“We know that for some farmers and businesses, more water means they can ramp up activity and drive economic activity and jobs growth in FNQ,” Dr Lynham said.
“Successful bidders will receive their water licence and access to this valuable resource within 30 business days of the auction, enabling them to get on with business.”
The 1200ML of groundwater is currently sitting in reserve in the Mulgrave-Russell Groundwater Management Zone, part of the Wet Tropics water plan area.
Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt said that while water was usually sold by tender, auction was a fair and efficient way to get the water flowing to farmers and local businesses so that it could put it to best use.
“This allocation of water is well within the sustainable water resource reserves of the Wet Tropics’ water plan.” Mr Pitt said.
“Sustainability is at the heart of Queensland’s water planning process and this remains the focus.”
Registrations for the live auction open on Saturday, February 10, and a public information session will be held on Wednesday, February 14 at Hambledon House, Edmonton from 10:00 - 11:30 am.
That session will cover the terms of sale, water licence eligibility and how to prepare for the auction on March 14.
Farmers and businesses have until March 7 to register and confirm their eligibility to hold a water licence with the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy.