In response to Queensland irrigators’ call for control of their irrigation infrastructure, the State Government has introduced legislation to facilitate the implementation of local management 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.
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 financially 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 companies and investigation boards. The board of LMA Support Services Pty Ltd is made up of the chairs from the eight scheme entities and chaired by agribusiness expert, Mr John Storie. A project team has been engaged by LMA Support Services to support the companies and boards.