The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has welcomed the transfer of the SunWater Emerald distribution scheme to Fairbairn Irrigation Network Limited after local management attracted overwhelming support amongst local irrigators.
Emerald irrigators accepted an offer for the channel assets to be transferred from SunWater in March 2019, with Fairbairn Irrigation Network Limited taking over ownership and management of the scheme this week.
QFF President Stuart Armitage congratulated Emerald irrigators on becoming the third of Queensland’s irrigation schemes to transition to local management and empower the local community to manage and grow irrigated agriculture in the local region.
“The Local Management Arrangement (LMA) has benefits for both irrigators and the local community by delivering the best outcomes in service levels and the distribution price of irrigation water while improving transparency and accountability,” Mr Armitage said.
“Local irrigators now have direct responsibility and control of key water infrastructure comprising of 126 kilometres of pipelines and channels, and distribution to around 150 customers irrigating 15,000 hectares of land.”
“Congratulations to transition board chair Anne Marie O’Callaghan and the Fairbairn Irrigation Network Limited board members for successfully managing the transition of operations and control from SunWater to local management.”
“QFF again commends the Queensland Government for understanding the advantages of locally managed irrigation schemes and looks forward to the successful transition of the Eton scheme, should irrigators in the region choose LMA.”