Is the project on track?

  • The project is working with the Queensland Government to deliver the project. Negotiations to access funding committed by the Australian and Queensland Governments are ongoing and;
  • include regular fortnightly meetings between the project and the government funders. There are a number of activities that are required to be undertaken by the State Government for the project to progress.
  • The Board is satisfied the project is progressing and on track.

When will the dam building start?

  • The building of the Dam will commence once all of the funding for the project is secured, which includes the binding commitments of irrigators to pay $23.4M towards the cost of construction, the preparation of tender documents for the construction of the dam and pipeline and receival of associated tenders, and confirmation the project can be delivered within the budget identified by Jacobs in the detailed business case.
  • There are a number of pre-construction activities that need to be undertaken to prepare for the commencement of construction. These will commence early in 2020 and will take approximately 6-8 months to complete, after which construction can commence.

How do irrigators have input into Granite Belt Water?

  • The Board has established a number of Board sub-committees to provide assistance with the governance and operations of the Scheme and Granite Belt Water Limited.
  • Expressions of Interest have been called for members of the Customer and Community Committee. A recommendation that this committee be split and that the customers/irrigators should have a separate committee will be taken to the Board for approval in January 2020.
  • Any Irrigator/Customer wishing to participate by being a member of the Customer/Irrigator Committee should submit an application outlining their qualifications to info@granitebeltirrigationproject.com.au

How do I become part of the Irrigator Advisory Committee and why is it so important?

  • Nominations for the Irrigator Advisory Committee can be made to info@granitebeltirrigationproject.com.au outlining your interest, and including a one- page CV.
  • The Committee will provide information and advice to the Board about issues identified within the scheme and, when its operational, this group will be the voice of the irrigator/customer of Granite Belt Water Limited.

How do I have a say who is on the board of Granite Belt Water?

  • Irrigators will be able to nominate persons with the appropriate qualifications to become members of the Board of Granite Belt Water Limited.
  • The Constitution of Granite Belt Water Limited will identify the methodology for the election and appointment of Directors that reflect the current normal and accepted governance processes for Companies.

Will we get to see the constitution of Granite Belt Water?

  • The Constitution of Granite Belt Water Limited is and will be a public document which outlines the governance structure and requirements of the Company.
  • The Constitution is still being developed to reflect the concerns of potential irrigator customers, government requirements, the future operation of the scheme, and to ensure financial viability.
  • A copy of the Constitution will be available when binding water sales contracts are presented to potential irrigator customers.

Do the other funders (state and federal government) have any say in the structure of and ownership of Granite Belt Water?

  • Yes
  • The Australian and Queensland Governments are contributing 72.14% of the project cost from public funds.
  • The Queensland Government has regulatory responsibility for dam safety.
  • A condition of the Queensland Government funding is that the company can demonstrate through its structure and ownership that it is and will be financially viable into the future.
  • The structure and ownership of the dam is required to demonstrate a commitment and willingness to take responsibility for the ongoing liability for dam ownership and the capacity to pay for all operating, maintenance and any dam safety upgrades for the life of the dam. The dam has been designed for a 100 year lifespan.

Am I going to be issued shares in relation to my water entitlement?

  • The Board has received Legal Advice that the best structure to protect the assets of the Company and the long-term viability of the Scheme is for Irrigators to receive water allocations for their contributions.

When will we know when we have to pay for our water?

  • The next payment for water will be a 4% deposit upon the signing of binding water sales contracts. A further 5% will be payable once the project has been approved to proceed to construction. The final 90% contribution will be payable upon practical completion of the project.
  • The dates for these are not fixed at this stage due to the need to undertake the pre-construction activities which will commence in early 2020.
  • It is anticipated that the 4% payable on signing of binding water sales contracts will be due before the end of the financial year 2019/2020 with a further 5% payable in the 2020/2021 financial year (potentially in Q2).
  • The date for payment of the remaining 90% will be dependent upon the construction schedule but it is anticipated that it will be some 18 months after the previous payment.
  • Specific dates will be provided to irrigator/customers as soon as they are determined.

What is the value of my water entitlement per megalitre?

  • The value of water entitlements is reflective of the margin individual growers are able to obtain from the crops produced per ML. The market will determine the value.

What happens if I don’t proceed or want to withdraw from the project after signing a binding water sales contract?

  • Any money the irrigator customer has paid at or after the binding water sales contracts is non-refundable. The irrigator customer will be able to on-sell your proposed allocation, however any additional design or connection charges will be bourne by either the irrigator customer or the purchasing entity.

Do I receive a refund of my money if the project doesn’t proceed?

  • The 1% commitment funding was non-refundable and is currently being utilised to provide funding for the development of binding water sales contracts.
  • Upon signing the binding water sales contracts the irrigator customers will be requested to contribute a further 4% which will be available to the project to advance the pre-construction activities. If the project doesn’t proceed the irrigator customers will be entitled to a refund of the non-expended portion of those funds.

 How much can I sell my water entitlement for?

  • The sale of water entitlements is market based, and subject to the operating rules of the irrigation scheme. The market will determine the price purchasers are willing to pay.

Can anyone buy my water entitlement?

  • Yes, however the water entitlement cannot be transferred outside the scheme

 What is the process going forward in relation to buying the water?

  • The project is developing binding water sales contracts which will be presented to the irrigator/customers in early 2020.
  • Irrigator customers are able to purchase the amount they identified (and paid a 1% deposit) during the Round 3 Demand Assessment.

 Is the expression of interest over-subscribed?

  • Yes

What happens if there is water left over in the water subscription process and who gains access to that?

  • If, after the Binding Water Sales process, there is unallocated water it will be sold.
  • The Board has yet to determine the most appropriate mechanism for making that water available but it will consider (in no particular order of priority and not limited to) issues such as government and community expectations; design and operational factors, any potential customers who have expressed an interest in the project and those who are on a waiting list before making that decision.
  • The project must realise $23.4M in committed water sales before the project can proceed to construction.

Do the first movers (people who have been involved from the start) get access to the surplus water?

  • The process of selling surplus water will be determined by the Board of Granite Belt Water Limited at the appropriate time, should there be any surplus.

Why should anyone else (late comers) get access to water?

  • The project is being developed by using both public and private funding. The use of public funding requires that any access to the water resource will be undertaken using an appropriately transparent process – one which allows equal access, within the scheme’s limitations, to participants.
  • The demand assessment process was conducted in an open and transparent manner with all interested individuals having the opportunity to participate.
  • A similar transparent process will be adopted if there is any surplus water.

 When do we need to pay our next instalment?

  • Upon the signing of a binding water sales contract. The contracts are likely to be negotiated with potential irrigator customers in early 2020.

When will the pipeline alignment be finalised?

  • The pipeline alignment can only be finalised after the completion of the binding water sales process. The final alignment will also be subject to approvals by State and Local Governments and negotiations with affected landholders.

If, in the future, I sell my water to someone who is not currently connected to the pipeline, do they have to pay the connection/ new pipeline costs?

  • Yes

When will I know what the annual and fixed charges are?

  • Indicative annual and fixed charges will be included in the information provided when you receive the binding water sales contracts.
  • There are a number of matters that impact on what the final fixed and variable charges may be and it would not be financially prudent until all of the finance matters involved in the construction of the project are resolved.
  • The initial annual fixed and variable charges will be set prior to the practical completion of the dam for the following year and then subject to annual review in an open and transparent process.

When will we have another irrigator meeting, and when will Granite Belt Water and irrigators meet one-on-one?

  • There will be another irrigator meeting in early 2020 prior to the commencement of the binding water sales process, or if there is a significant development in the project.
  • The irrigators are welcome to talk ‘one-on-one’ with Granite Belt Water Limited to resolve any personal questions privately, at any time. Please contact Lloyd Taylor at lloyd@granitebeltirrigationproject.com.au or mobile 0414 480 140 if you have matters you wish to discuss.
  • Negotiations with irrigator customers will be conducted on a ‘one on one’ basis early in 2020.