The Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter is pleased with the response from the Minister for State Development, Hon Anthony Lynham to his question in Parliament this week on immediately releasing the balance of the water allocation of the Flinders River.
“My question yielded a good response from the Minister, although I disagree with the principles behind how the water allocation is managed,” Mr Katter said.
Dr Lynham gave August 2015 as the finalization date for the Gulf Water Resource Plan and the Resource Operations Plan.
Mr Katter said there has been much talk and many millions of dollars spent on studies for farming on the Flinders River over the last 20 years.
“Currently the water allocation on the Flinders River is only 2.1 per cent of the flow, and I called upon the Minister to immediately release the balance of the water allocation in this time of rural crisis so that both smaller and larger farming operations are able to both practically and affordably able to access this great resource.”
Mr Katter said he disagreed with the principle behind how water is allocated, saying commercial pricing for the water allocation was misguided as there was no infrastructure to justify it.
“Usually commercial pricing covers the cost of storage and delivery infrastructure, but there is none.
“All we’re asking for is for farmers to be able to pull water out of the river for irrigation so they can produce food for markets.
“The black soil Mitchell grass plains of the southern Gulf are perfect for growing cattle; all we need is the water.”
“A few more farms established in the Richmond means an additional 15 -20 families in the area, which would have a tremendous impact ,” he said.