The Australian Government will inject $11 million into Queensland’s Murray-Darling Basin communities to improve the efficiency of irrigation in the catchment. 

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Senator Simon Birmingham and Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said the funding would provide much needed upgrades to the resources and agriculture industries.

“The Australian and Queensland Governments have worked together to provide funding under Round Five of the $154.9 million Healthy HeadWaters Water Use Efficiency project,” Mr Birmingham said.

“There were six successful applicants covering seven projects, and the upgrades to be delivered will save on average 3.1 billion litres of water per year.

“Successful applicants will use project funds for on farm irrigation efficiency improvements, including the upgrade of irrigation distribution systems, converting open channels to pipes and making water storages more efficient

“We are focussing our efforts on improving the efficiency of water use on and off farm in the Basin, to deliver real economic benefits for business, support the continued growth of Murray-Darling communities and to protect the health of the river system.

“The Abbott Government is giving priority to water recovery through infrastructure investment, which recovers water for the environment while boosting productivity in communities,” said Senator Birmingham. 

Mr Cripps said the Newman Government welcomed the funding from the Federal Government and that he had worked hard with Senator Birmingham to achieve this positive outcome for Queensland. 

“The new plan will help strengthen the agriculture pillars of the economy in the Queensland section of the Murray-Darling Basin,” he said.

“These projects will allow for water to be returned to the Murray-Darling Basin catchment, while ensuring sufficient water remains available for agriculture use. Irrigators will gain access to modern irrigation technologies and practices, delivering efficient and sustainable farm production. 

“This is a cost-effective solution for the Government and for communities as they work together to implement the new plan.

“The former Federal Labor Government failed to implement a plan that provided for the future of Murray-Darling Basin communities in Queensland.

“It is good news for Queenslanders to see the Newman and Abbott Governments working together to deliver outcomes for the catchment,” said Mr Cripps

Media contacts: 

Caitlin Keage – 0427 729 987 (Senator Birmingham) 

Eleisha Rogers – 0413 375 088 (Minister Cripps)