AN entirely new agricultural industry will open up on the Flinders River after the Hughenden irrigation scheme finally got the green light.
The $47 million 15 Mile Irrigated Agricultural Development project was this week approved by Queensland's Coordinator-General.
The project will be located on the Flinders River around 12 kilometres north/north-west of Hughenden.
State Development Minister Cameron Dick said it will be one of the largest employers in the region once fully developed.
"The project will create up to five jobs during its five-year construction phase and 77 jobs during the initial three-year development phase," Mr Dick said.
"At full operation, the project will support a workforce of 165 staff, which is equivalent to 21 per cent of the total workforce in Flinders Shire.
"There are also attractive flow-on benefits to other industries in the region associated with agricultural supplies and transport.
"Flinders Shire Council should be commended for providing access to reliable water supply and suitable cropping land, making it easier for our government to progress this exciting agricultural development for the region."
Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the project will enable the production of various low-volume, high-value agricultural crops.
"This includes table grapes, citrus fruit and avocados, all within an irrigated agricultural precinct of around 900 hectares," Mr Furner said.
"It will result in greater returns and outcomes for Flinders Shire when compared to broad acre, low-return crops.
"It's anticipated the project will contribute an additional $8-9 million annually to the gross agricultural production value of the shire."