GRANITE Belt Irrigation Project (GBIP) has welcomed the announcement of an additional Australian Government contribution of $126.5 million to help fund development of Emu Swamp Dam and its distribution network in yesterday’s federal budget.

The 12,000 megalitre dam at Emu Swamp, south-west of Stanthorpe, and 126km of pipeline, will deliver water to almost 50 agribusiness and community customers. The scale and design of the Project will also bring wide-reaching social and economic benefits to the region, and state and national economies.

GBIP Chief Executive Officer, Lloyd Taylor, thanked the Australian Government for its commitment to delivering water security and prosperity to the Granite Belt.

“This project will not only increase water security to the region, it will also create a significant number of jobs during construction, as well as long-term full-time positions in agriculture and supporting businesses, to help substantially grow the productivity of Southern Queensland,” Mr Taylor said.

“We wholeheartedly commend the Australian Government for its recognition of the importance of Emu Swamp Dam and making this further $126.5 million investment in addition to the $47 million already committed.

“We also thank Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud and former Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack for their work in advocating for the Granite Belt Irrigation Project.”

In addition to the Australian Government contribution, GBIP is funded by $23.4 million from local irrigators, the highest proportion of community investment in water infrastructure in Queensland’s history, and a conditional commitment of $13.6 million from the Queensland Government.

“It is important to also thank the Palaszczuk Government, Queensland Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher, Member for Southern Downs James Lister and local irrigators for the valued support of Emu Swamp Dam they have shown. We also recognise the work of relevant state and federal government departments in the progress we have made,” Mr Taylor said.

“We are looking forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders and the Granite Belt community to deliver a water asset that will be truly transformational.”

Community members can receive the most accurate and up-to-date information on the progress of the Project through the Granite Belt Irrigation Project website or can speak directly with the GBIP team by visiting the Project Office at 3/35 Maryland Street, Stanthorpe.