Queensland Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham has announced that applications can now be made for 92,500 megalitres of water in the Cloncurry and Gilbert Rivers.
“This water is being made available to support agriculture projects that are shovel ready in north west communities including Cloncurry and Georgetown,” Dr Lynham said.
“Applications can be lodged online at the DNRM website and will stay open while water remains available from this release process.”
Dr Lynham said online lodgement provided a more efficient, direct and responsive process that will assist business planning.
“We understand that there will be strong demand for this precious resource so it is imperative applicants ensure they comply with all terms of sale requirements before submitting their application online,” he said.
“This is to avoid disappointment as the water will be allocated on a first in, first served basis for applications that provide all of the necessary information.
“Department of Natural Resources and Mines officers are available to assist potential applicants to work through the necessary information requirements prior to submitting their application.”
Dr Lynham said community consultation in August in Cloncurry and Georgetown had identified some concerns particularly in relation to flexible payment options and vegetation clearing.
“The Government has listened to those concerns and, accordingly, a range of payment options now exist,” he said.
Options are a longer term outright up‑front payment for a 93 year licence period or annual payments over a 20-year period. The longer term licence allows greater flexibility but requires full payment up-front at $125 per megalitre.
The alternative is an annual payment plan for a 20-year licence with the first instalment starting at $6.25 per megalitre.
This option allows those who do not have the financial capacity to pay in full the opportunity to gain access to water as a first step in developing an irrigated agriculture business. There will be an option to surrender that licence and transition to a long-term licence after five years.
Dr Lynham said the volume of water being made available reflects known demand and the need to retain water for emerging large-scale proposals.
“Releasing this water continues to deliver on the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to support Queensland regions,” he said.
“This release follows the granting of more than 194,000 megalitres of water through two previous tender processes in the Gulf Water Plan area.”