The Department of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines has been working with Central Lockyer Irrigators to develop the Moreton Water Plan.
The Department of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines has been working with Central Lockyer Irrigators to develop the Moreton Water Plan. Alistair Brightman

Water plan to be implemented by end of year

A WATER plan designed to further the longevity for farming in the Lockyer Valley has been released to the public.

Following extensive consultation with irrigators, farmers and the community, the Moreton Water Plan is on step closer to implementation.

It is available for community consultation, which is being sought by the Department of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines.

After hearing the proposal would have catastrophic consequences for the Lockyer Valley's agricultural industry at a public forum in February, the plan has been re-worked.

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Minister for Natural Resources Anthony Lynham said his department re-worked the plan based on feedback from irrigators who "know their water best”.

"The changes have taken a new approach to determining water volumes for groundwater entitlements,” Dr Lynham said.

The amended plan proposes to convert 149 groundwater licenses, 112 surface water interim allocations and two authorisations held by Seqwater into volumetric allocations.

READ MORE: 'Best outcome' for irrigators in 20 years

These changes will provide further clarity to farmers and industry on how much water they are entitled.

"Farmers in the Central Lockyer also told us the current yearly water structure wasn't working, so it has been aligned with the calendar year,” Dr Lynham said.

Dr Lynham said when finalised, the amended Moreton Water Plan would provide irrigators in the Central Lockyer Valley and the industry with certainty surrounding their water rights.

He said it would also provide a water market that would drive new growth opportunities.

The consultation period will close on October 1 and once complete, DNRME will finalise the water plan amendment by the end of the year.

To view the statement of intent, and supporting documents, click here to visit the DNRME website.

The Central Lockyer Implementation Area for Groundwater.
The Central Lockyer Implementation Area for Groundwater. Contributed

The Central Lockyer Implementation area for surface water.
The Central Lockyer Implementation area for surface water. Contributed

Along with the Lockyer Water Users Forum, as series of workshops will be held for each groundwater management zone. The workshops will be held at the Gatton Research Station.

Upcoming workshop dates

Zone 2 - Monday, September 2, 9am to noon

Zone 3A - Monday, September 2, 2pm to 5pm

Zone 5 - Tuesday, September 3, 9am to noon

Zone 6 - Tuesday, September 3, 2pm to 5pm

Zone 8 - Wednesday, September 4, 9am to noon

Zone 9 - Wednesday, September 4, 2pm to 5pm

Individual appointments will also be available for consultation from 9am on Monday, September 2, and Wednesday, September 4.


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