Michael and Lucille Jensen

Michael and Lucille Jensen at their Pink Poppies retail store in Stanthorpe.

Michael and Lucille Jensen are well-known in the Granite Belt, having owned and managed several businesses in the region across the tourism and retail sectors.

With a strong focus on customer service, they currently own and operate the Granite Belt Motel, providing visitors

with an authentic and friendly visitor experience, and Pink Poppies Living Creatively, which is a contemporary homewares and fashion retail store located in the heart of Stanthorpe.

While they don’t grow produce, Michael said they are great supporters of the Granite Belt Irrigation Project after living through several droughts in the region.

“As locals, we’ve lived through many droughts over the years, with the latest one being the toughest,” Michael said.

“It’s really hard watching our local growers and producers suffer from the impacts of having no water and losing valuable income.

“We are really looking forward to the project starting so our farmers can access a secure water supply and continue their great work by growing food with certainty and having the opportunity to compete in markets for their produce.”

Michael describes the Project as a ‘game-changer’ for the district, providing long-term benefits not only to farmers, but to the whole community.

“While it will be great to see a consistent water supply for the growers, the project will also provide a back-up supply of water for the whole region,” Michael said.

Like many regional operators, Michael said he and Lucille have benefited from an influx of visitors over the past 18 months as people have stayed close to home and explored their own backyard in response to COVID-19 health directives.

“It’s been a particularly good time for local businesses with a huge increase in visitors and tradespeople coming to the region,” Michael explained.

“The building of Emu Swamp Dam will continue the momentum that we’ve gathered and continue it into the future.

“We will see jobs created during the construction phase and after its completion, which will provide economic stimulus that the town will enjoy for decades to come.

“Importantly it will provide employment opportunities, which means our future generations will be able to find meaningful employment in town, rather than leave to pursue job opportunities elsewhere.”

Further information about the Project can also be found on the new GBIP website, www.granitebeltirrigationproject.com.au