Pipelines from Wivenhoe to Lockyer dams could help farmers

LET'S TALK: Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington meets with Lockyer Farmers to discuss the impacts on water allocations for farmers.
LET'S TALK: Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington meets with Lockyer Farmers to discuss the impacts on water allocations for farmers. Ali Kuchel

CENTRAL Lockyer Water users believe performance at local dams could be improved if a pipeline from Wivenhoe was created through the region.

The decision came from the Lockyer Water Users Forum, held last week in Fernvale where irrigators met with councillors and local members of parliament to discuss the proposed water allocations.

With discussions centring around improvements to Atkinson, Clarendon and Bill Gun Dams, LWUF president Paul Emmerson said the pipeline from Wivenhoe was the preferred option.

"This would add additional water into existing infrastructure," Mr Emmerson said.

"What became clear was Lockyer and Somerset need more water to support and grow agricultural industries and secondary food processing."

During the meeting, water allocations were rejected unanimously by all parties.

"Farmers have made considerable investments in their businesses and create significant employment in the region," Mr Emmerson said.

"Economist highlight the multiples as high as seven times in generation economic activity in local communities."

Attending the meeting, Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington said it was good to see the groups discussing the water allocations.

"The timing for these sorts of discussions is also good as the federal coalition recently announced a $2billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility in the 2016-17 Federal budget to support major water infrastructure projects," Mrs Frecklington said.

Both Somerset and Lockyer councils will work with the LWUF to update the socio-economic studies to discuss with the State Government.

Former Western Catchments CEO Simon Warner facilitated the workshop.

During the meeting, Mr Warner questioned how many potential jobs could be gained if a more positive view was taken to use the water that was available in the system.

Topics:  agriculture deb frecklington farmers irrigators lockyer valley somerset region

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