The Australian Government will commence a new water purchase initiative in the Queensland Condamine-Balonne catchment.
“Interested license holders have until 5pm on Thursday 30 October 2014 to make an offer,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.
“The Australian Government is committed to restoring the Murray-Darling Basin to health while ensuring the viability of Australia’s food producing communities,” said Senator Birmingham.
“The Lower Balonne water purchase initiative will help to deliver on the Australian Government’s commitment towards bridging the gap to meet the Sustainable Diversion Limits in the northern Murray-Darling Basin.
“By working closely with Basin communities in Queensland, the Australian Government has developed an approach to water recovery that will benefit irrigators and the environment, without adversely affecting regional economies. This includes a mix of water purchasing and investment in more efficient irrigation infrastructure through the Queensland Healthy HeadWaters Water Use Efficiency Project.
“Water purchased in this tender will help achieve the Government’s goal of improving the health of the Basin’s rivers, wetlands and floodplains. This tender is consistent with the Water Recovery Strategy released earlier this year and well within the cap we have imposed on the level of buybacks.
“This is another step towards delivering the Basin Plan on time and in full,” he said.
More than 40 gigalitres of water has already been recovered in the Condamine-Balonne catchment to meet the needs of the local environment.
“This purchase is for unsupplemented and overland flow water harvesting licence holders. The Government will only buy licences from sellers who submit applications specifying the price at which they are prepared to sell their water licence,” said Senator Birmingham.
Further information including the Request for Tender guidelines and application form are available on the Department’s website at www.environment.gov.au/waterpurchasing or by calling the Water Information Line on 1800 218 478 when the program opens at 9am on 30 September 2014.