Growers weigh up draft for water

FARMERS and irrigators in the Burnett Basin are preparing to have their ideas heard after a public information session on the draft Water Resource Plan (WRP) was held at the Brothers Club yesterday.

About 50 people attended the meeting, held by the Department of Environmental Resource Management (DERM), discussed the water planning process, the scope of the WRP review, the details on groundwater and overland flow management as well as details on the current moratorium.

Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers executive officer Peter Peterson was at the meeting and said the organisation would be preparing a submission in the next two weeks.

“This process is not a surprise to anybody. I think it is a case of making sure we improve on what we’ve got,” he said.

Mr Peterson said the entire process would take about 18 months and yesterday’s meeting was the start of the initial consultation process.

Bundaberg Canegrowers president Allan Dingle said the group would also be lodging a submission.

“We have flagged a few things and one of the more important ones is environmental flows,” Mr Dingle said.

Mr Dingle said he would also like to see growers have more input into the plan as well as more flexibility.

Further information sessions will held at the Mundubbera Shire Hall from 3pm tomorrow and at the Monto Town Hall from 10am on Friday.

“These information sessions will provide an opportunity for the public to raise their issues regarding the WRP Review. Also a database will be available at the meetings so that landholders can search for their lot and plan number to find out if their properties are captured by the moratorium,” DERM regional manager for water services Jill Pfingst said.

Final submissions must be made to DERM by 5pm on March 8.



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