The Queensland Government has provided formal offers to the boards established to represent customers in the Emerald, Eton, Theodore, and St George irrigation schemes. The offer relates to the transfer of all below-dam water assets, and includes $36.6 million to help with the transition. The Government’s official media release is available here. Details of the offers to each scheme, and the response of the boards, are available here.
In response to Queensland irrigators’ call for control of their irrigation infrastructure, the State Government has introduced legislation to facilitate the future implementation of local management arrangements for SunWater’s eight channel irrigation schemes.
Under the process companies have been established and boards appointed to represent the interests of customers, undertake further investigation of the option and negotiate terms of the transfer with government on their behalf.
Transition companies have been formed for schemes at Emerald, Eton, St George and Theodore, where a strong commitment to the concept of local management has been demonstrated and where government has determined that the schemes can be financial viable under local management.
Investigation boards have been set up for schemes in Bundaberg, the Burdekin-Haughton, Mareeba-Dimbulah and the Lower Mary, to allow further investigation on how local management could operate in these areas and prepare updated business proposals for their schemes.
A service company, owned and funded by government, has been established to provide assistance to the transition and investigation schemes. The board of LMA Support Services Pty Ltd is made up of the chairs from the eight scheme entities and presently chaired by Mr Maurie Maughan, who also heads up the Bundaberg Investigation board. A project team has been engaged by LMA Support Services to support the irrigation boards.