The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) and its members have welcomed the Queensland LNP’s commitment to commission the CSIRO to begin advanced planning for the New Bradfield Scheme if elected in 2020.
The innovative water infrastructure project would see the height of the proposed Hell’s Gate Dam in North Queensland doubled to over 120m, with water gravity fed through tunnels across the range before draining into the northern basin of the Murray-Darling System.
QFF President Stuart Armitage said farmers from Hughenden in the north to Cunnamulla in the south could potentially benefit from the New Bradfield Scheme and the opportunities it presented for agriculture and the regional communities the sector supports.
“QFF continues to advocate for new water infrastructure in the right regions to open up more opportunities for high value agriculture,” Mr Armitage said.
“For Queensland to continue producing world class food, fibre and foliage, agriculture must have access to reliable and affordable water.”
“Critical to the success of this and any other water project study is a genuine examination of water yield and its reliability, particularly in a changing climate.”
“And with the cost of water and associated pumping costs so critical these days, it must be clear from the outset who will bear the capital and operating costs of new schemes.”
“To build new infrastructure without first rectifying the current issue of water affordability for agriculture may undermine the intention to create regional jobs and increase agricultural productivity.”
“We also have considerable issues with existing water infrastructure, so new projects must not distract from the need to upgrade, improve and increase efficiencies in current schemes throughout the state.”