Wide Bay Burnett water coordinator Steve Brown addresses the community meeting of agriculture and business representatives in Kingaroy on November 29.
Wide Bay Burnett water coordinator Steve Brown addresses the community meeting of agriculture and business representatives in Kingaroy on November 29. Jessica McGrath

Flowing support for Burnett water study

BURNETT businesses and farmers will be joining forces to ensure reliable access to water in the future.

The Federal Government has granted $2 million towards a water feasibility study across the North and South Burnett council areas.

South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell suggested during the first of the community meetings those with an invested interest in water security might form a South Burnett Users Group.

More than 40 irrigation specialists, business owners, farmers and council representatives shared their ideas at the meeting on November 29.

The mayor said it was confirmed the funding was secure during his visit with the council CEO Mark Pitt to Canberra.

The study was a big achievement for the South and North Burnett.

"It's an acknowledgement that agriculture principally is a very strong feature of our economy and industries such as Swickers,” Cr Campbell said.

Reliable access to water is a lot more security for any businesses wanting to invest in the area.

"The reality is we can't offer or guarantee any volume of water, which is just simply not good enough, we want this region to grow, we have to be able to have a lot more security in terms of water and certainly when it comes to business development,” he said.

Wide Bay Burnett regional water coordinator Steve Brown said the feasibility study was important for the Burnett.

"We have to do these studies because when you're asking the Federal or State Government for funding, you've got to have the numbers behind you,” he said.

"There's the need, there's spare water on our doorstep and we've got the money to actually do some proper studies to look at that and that's up to you guys to put some ideas forward.”

The meeting discussed the potential use of nearby key assets such as the Gordonbrook Dam, Boondoomba Dam or Paradise Dam.

"Half of the state's unutilised water sits in Paradise,” Mr Brown said.

The meeting discussed the possibility of putting in linkages between dams, or investing in weirs.

"Weirs to hold up the flow and give a bit more time for irrigators to access water,” he said.

As the study is in its initial stages, community members will be encouraged to submit suggested solutions to the water reliability issue.

"The opportunity is to look at all of those, plus whatever else you can suggest, and we'll be quite surprised by the level of innovation there is in this room to come up with ideas,” Mr Brown said.

South Burnett

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