Cotton Australia has welcomed the passing of a new law in Queensland allowing water held in state infrastructure reserves to be made available on short-term leases.
The new law permits water that had been earmarked for projects such as future dams and weirs to become available to productive users through three-year leases when needed.
Cotton Australia’s General Manager, Michael Murray, says the legislation is good news for regional communities.
“We welcome this announcement and congratulate the Queensland Government on being forward-thinking and looking for different ways to boost our rural communities,” Mr Murray says.
“Having this water become available will stimulate regional employment and boost the economic activity in towns that often bear the brunt of drought and prolonged dry spells.”
“Our cotton communities in Queensland will welcome this news, and I expect there will be immediate interest among growers in the Dawson Valley in taking on these leases.”
“There is a significant infrastructure reserve in the Dawson Valley, with water set aside for the long-proposed Nathan Dam.”
Mr Murray says while it is good news, further information is needed from the state government.
“We call on the Queensland Government to clearly inform regional communities and organisations like Cotton Australia about how this new opportunity will be implemented,” Mr Murray says.
“A fair cost structure and having clarity on criteria for accessing the water will be critical to this law being a long-term success.”
Source: Cotton Australia