MEDIA STATEMENT: 20 February 2020

GRANITE Belt Water has today welcomed Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk’s announcement of the release of $6 million in funds to progress work towards delivery of the Emu Swamp Dam and pipeline project near Stanthorpe.

The funding, which is an advance drawn from the $13.6 million already committed by the Queensland Government, was announced by the Premier in Parliament this morning. It will allow Granite Belt Water to develop and release tender documents for construction of the dam as well as contracts for the region’s irrigators who wish to secure water from the facility.

Granite Belt Water Chairman, Dan Hunt, said he was delighted to move forward on the next phase of development of this transformational piece of water infrastructure.

“I thank the Premier and her government for releasing these much needed funds at a critical time for water infrastructure on the Granite Belt,” Mr Hunt said.

“These pre-construction activities will help us meet the conditions on the rest of the funding, and we expect a final decision could be made on the commercial feasibility of the project by October.

“This advance is a significant boost to the Stanthorpe, Granite Belt and Southern Downs communities and helps to progress a project that will create 700 long-term jobs in farming and support industries, while boosting the region’s agricultural production capabilities by some $68 million.

“As recent severe weather events have shown water security is nothing short of critical to the sustainability of rural and regional communities right across Australia, and must be invested in.

“The team at Granite Belt Water will immediately start work on pre-construction activities for Emu Swamp Dam.”

The Granite Belt Irrigation Project will deliver the first new dam built in Queensland in a decade at Emu Swamp, south-west of Stanthorpe, and 117km of pipeline to provide water to 51 agribusiness customers.

The Project has committed funding of $23.4 million from local irrigators, $47 million from the Australian Government and a conditional commitment of $13.6 million from the Queensland Government. The State and Commonwealth are currently negotiating a bilateral schedule for rollout of the funding.

ENDS

Media contact: Stacey Wordsworth
stacey.wordsworth@bluehillpr.com.au
0438 394 371