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27 August, 2020

North Johnston transfer back the agenda

A long-held plan to transfer water from the North Johnstone River to the Barron River and then into Tinaroo Dam is being spoken of again, nearly 50 years after the idea was first mooted.

By Phil Brandel

A long-held plan to transfer water from the North Johnstone River to the Barron River and then into Tinaroo Dam is being spoken of again, nearly 50 years after the idea was first mooted.

Hill MP Shane Knuth said that over the years, there had been massive horticulture expansions on the Tablelands. “When Tinaroo Dam was first constructed plans were put in place for the North Johnstone Transfer to give the region another water source once it had outgrown the dam's capacity,” Mr Knuth said.

“That time is now. Farmers are screaming for more water.

“The project would transfer water via a pipeline from the upper North Johnstone River into the Barron River and then into Tinaroo Dam.

“Water would be harvested only during flooding and provide a much-needed boost to farmers.”

Mr Knuth pointed out that having an extra water source, other than Tinaroo Dam, would also benefit recreational users.

“We have seen in the past when the dam gets down to 30 per cent that recreational users, farmers and the community are all affected.” he said.

In parliament on Wednesday, August 18 Mr Knuth asked the Minister for Natural Resources Anthony Lynham if the Government would commit to the construction of the North Johnstone Transfer.

Mr Lynham agreed there was a demand for more water in the region and Sunwater was considering the viability of the project.

"Like with any water in this state, the water from the North Johnstone diversion must be provided at the right price for farmers," Dr Lynham said.

"Farmers have to have the right price to be able to afford to convert this water to economic production.

"The department and Sunwater are rightfully considering the potential viability of the North Johnstone diversion.

"The North Johnstone diversion is under investigation now by the department to make sure that it does stack up.

"Robust assessments have to be undertaken based on cost and the amount of water and with the North Johnstone diversion, in particular, that is where preliminary investigations have to be done on hydrology to make sure there is enough water to go across into the Tablelands."

FNQ Grower president Joe Moro said it was exciting news.

“The transfer is a great idea,” Mr Moro said.

“We need something to be done because it is really the only viable option we have for horticulture needs.”

 

 

 

 


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