MEDIA STATEMENT: 1 December 2020
The Granite Belt Irrigation Project (GBIP) has passed another critical milestone in the construction of the Emu Swamp Dam near Stanthorpe, with the completion of water sales with local irrigators.
This means the pipeline design can now be finalised, as another step towards providing water to almost 50 agribusinesses and bringing wide-reaching benefits to the region including the creation of 700 full-time jobs in the local community.
GBIP is a landmark infrastructure development for the Granite Belt region and will deliver a 12,000 megalitre dam at Emu Swamp, south-west of Stanthorpe, and around 120 km of pipeline.
GBIP Chair, Dan Hunt, said there had been overwhelming support from local agribusinesses, bolstering project progression.
“While there has never been any doubt about the community’s need for increased water security, we have been very pleased with the continued support demonstrated during the water sales process,” Mr Hunt said.
“This is an exciting milestone for the project as it triggers the finalisation of the pipeline design and route.
“The current pipeline design has been based on the initial commitment of interested irrigators. With long-term contracts confirmed, we can now validate the pipeline design and move forward with necessary approvals.”
The contribution from irrigators is $23.4 million, which is around 28 per cent of the cost of the scheme, making it the highest proportion of private investment in water infrastructure in Queensland’s history. The Australian Government has contributed $47 million and the Queensland Government has made a conditional commitment of $13.6 million.
Once operational, the Emu Swamp Dam will provide water security by delivering highly reliable water with a guarantee of a monthly average of 90 per cent of their water allocation. This will come as a welcome lifeline to the Granite Belt community and local primary producers after the depletion of the region’s water supply in early 2020.
In addition to the 700 new full-time agriculture and supporting jobs, GBIP is expected to create 250 jobs during construction in the region, to boost the local economy.
The project team is currently working with landholders in the pipeline route to begin land procurement negotiations.
More information about the project can be found on the GBIP website, www.granitebeltirrigationproject.com.au. Community members are also encouraged to visit the GBIP office at 3/35 Maryland Street, Stanthorpe.
Media contact: Hannah Hardy
0421 196 004