Farmers and businesses in south and central west Queensland can bid for more water from today to expand their businesses and create jobs.
Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said expressions of interest were now open for 4545 megalitres of water in an area from Longreach south and west to the state borders.
“Queensland has an economic plan for recovery and access to water for business and job growth will help drive that strategy,” Dr Lynham said.
“This additional water offers farmers and associated agribusinesses the opportunity to expand, as well as the renewable sector who could also use this to develop geothermal generation projects.
“Farmers and their communities are under pressure, with the south west still in drought, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“This water release may help in relieving some of that hardship.”
About 3.4 million megalitres of unallocated water is reserved in water plans. The Government has been working since 2018 to identify and release unallocated water to support economic development and job creation.
This has become more of a priority due to the pandemic.
The Government has this year made available more than 100,000 megalitres of additional water from the Gulf in the north the Lockyer in the south, with more releases in the pipeline.
The EOI is open across an area that includes Longreach, Boulia, Birdsville, Windorah, Eromanga through to the South Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales borders. Areas with an existing high water take have been excluded, including areas in the Surat Basin near Dalby, Chinchilla and Roma.
Expressions of interest for additional water in the Western Great Artesian Basin opens today (17 September 2020) and close 30 November 2020.
Any additional water allocations issued will include conditions to protect the environment and existing water users.