Local Management Arrangements for Irrigation Channel Schemes

LMA Stage 3 - Expressions of Interest

LMA Project background

For some time irrigators have been calling for the local management of SunWater’s eight irrigation channel schemes in Queensland. This would mean that distribution assets are transferred from government to entities owned and managed by the water users supplied by the scheme.

Interim boards for each of the eight schemes were established to determine how the schemes could be locally run as viable businesses. The analysis assisted the Queensland government to assess whether local management is in the best long-term interests of irrigators and the State.

An independent project team, led by irrigator and national water commissioner Leith Boully, was set up to support the interim boards put their case for local management.This process considered the distribution assets - such as channels, pipes and some of the pump stations. Bulk water assets, such as major dams were not included.

Government  approved a set of seven principles to guide the review of options for local management (also referred to as LMA). The interim boards needed to show that their proposals for local management met these principles.

In September 2014, the Independent Chair submitted to the Queensland Government the final report for Stage 2 into the investigations into local managment. A public version of the report, which includes the key findings and recommendations, is available here.

On 11 December, the Government announced that it has decided to proceed with local management arrangements for all eight SunWater channel irrigation schemes (Media release available here). To prepare for the transition to local management, eight new entities are to be established, one for each of the channel schemes.  A public call for expressions of interest for individuals to sit on the boards has been released.

For more click here.