The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has welcomed the transfer of the SunWater Eton distribution scheme to Eton Irrigation Cooperative Limited after local management attracted overwhelming support amongst the Mackay region irrigators.
Irrigators on the scheme accepted an offer for the channel assets to be transferred from SunWater in December 2019, with Eton Irrigation Cooperative Limited taking over ownership and management today.
QFF President Allan Dingle congratulated the local irrigators on becoming the fourth of Queensland’s irrigation schemes to transition to local management, empowering the local community to manage and grow irrigated agriculture in the region.
“The Local Management Arrangement (LMA) has benefits for local irrigators by delivering the best outcomes in service levels and the distribution price of irrigation water while improving transparency and accountability,” Mr Dingle said.
“Local irrigators now have direct responsibility and control of key water infrastructure comprising of 193 kilometres of pipelines and channels, and distribution to around 300 customers irrigating 15,000 hectares of land.”
“Congratulations to transition board chair Lee Blackburn and the Eton Irrigation Cooperative 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 schemes, with the transition of the Eton irrigation scheme to LMA following similar transfers at St George and Theodore in 2018 and Emerald in 2019.”