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Community & Business

26 May, 2021

Knuth pushes North Johnston transfer project

HILL Member Shane Knuth has continued his push for long term water security in the region declaring he wants a recently confirmed water assessment for the Tablelands to start immediately.

By Michael Warren

Hill MP Shane Knuth and Kennedy MP Bob Katter are against any Lime importation from Mexico to Australia.

HILL Member Shane Knuth has continued his push for long term water security in the region declaring he wants a recently confirmed water assessment for the Tablelands to start immediately. 

Flanked by Federal member Bob Katter on the Tinnaburra Boat ramp near Yungaburra Mr Knuth told The Express it’s pointless to wait until next year when the assessment is expected to get underway. 

“We have received $3M for a water assessment to be done on the Tablelands and the North Johnstone Transfer forms part of that assessment,” Mr Knuth said. 

“We’ll be pursuing this project to be fast tracked; I know there is a timeframe of early 2022, (but) we feel that’s not good enough. 

“That’s too long to wait; I have spoken to the QLD Minister for Water Glenn Butcher about this and he’s not ruling it out. 

 “What this does mean for water security on the Tablelands is a scheme that was supposed to have been constructed. 

 “It’s an approved scheme, and it was designed back when Tinaroo was constructed. It was supposed to have been put in, but hasn’t been, so we’re only trying to finish off what should have been put in place.” 

Mr Knuth and Federal MP Bob Katter have been strong advocates of the North Johnstone Transfer project as have local irrigators and past and present members of the Tablelands Regional Council. 

NORTH JOHNSTONE TRANSFER – A SNAPSHOT 

• When Tinaroo Dam was constructed, it was recognised at the time that the dam would not meet future water demands, so the North Johnstone Transfer project was designed as a means of increasing water supply to Tablelands farmers. 

• The project is designed to take water during flood periods and transfer, by pipe, from the North Johnstone into the Barron River. When the North Johnstone River is back to its original environmental flow the gates shut off. 

 • It is believed that the estimated cost in the original design would be around $70- 80M. This will vary if it is revised. 

• This is an environmentally friendly water source. In other words, it is not another dam - it is a pipeline supply, underground, transferring water to top up Tinaroo Dam. 

• The project will ensure water stability and reliability all year round to benefit the agricultural industry and recreational users.

 • The project is a no-brainer and should have been built decades ago, however successive State Governments have shown a distinct lack of desire to build any water security infrastructure in the state. 

• However, progress has been made and the North Johnstone Transfer is now on the State Government’s radar and will be investigated thoroughly as part of the recently announced $3M State Government water assessment plan taking place on the Tablelands.  

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