JUST ADD WATER: Coalstoun Lakes farmers with Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd look down on the valley that would benefit from a regular supply of water.
JUST ADD WATER: Coalstoun Lakes farmers with Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd look down on the valley that would benefit from a regular supply of water. Erica Murree

Getting behind a regular water supply for Coalstoun Lakes

COALSTOUN Lakes Development Group has been pushing for irrigation water for many years.

Many travellers passing through the area have seen the Just Add Water campaign or heard about it in the media.

The recent announcement by Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to grant $1million to support the investigation of water infrastructure projects in the North Burnett is an exciting development for CLDG.

"We are excited to have our water ideas finally recognised in this grant and are confident that the benefits could flow through to neighbouring communities in the area,” CLDG president Steve Marshall said.

"Around 110,000 megalitres, or half of the state's uncommitted water, is in Paradise Dam and could support urban supplies and an expansion of cane, peanuts, avocados and other irrigation crops.”

Mr Marshall said the proposal was based on a pumped hydro development to offset pumping costs with the aim of delivering water for both agricultural and urban users at an economical cost.

"Combined with our area's perfect soils, this water could also bring a lot of employment to the local area in both the construction phase and following completion,” he said.

North Burnett Regional Council, under Mayor Rachel Chambers' leadership, has played a pivotal role in accessing these funds to support the CLDG and the Boyne irrigators proposals.”

Mr Marshall said, while this grant was not the final piece in the jigsaw, it was the next step in getting the project to the next phase, which will focus on securing the substantial private-sector investment to justify the necessary public-sector partnering.

"We are in early discussions with several private sector investors to get our project rolling,” he said.

"With the discussions around Paradise Dam Improvement Plan under way, it is important for all the region's opportunities to be considered.”

Anyone interested in their proposal can get more information from their new website www.coalstounlakes.org or contact CLDG chairman Steve Marshall 0427275191, vice chairman Garry Seabrook 0499089 909, treasurer Ben Rackemann 0409324596 and members Terry Staib 0427752406 or Kerry Dove 0427412751.


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