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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 849

Mr O'DOWD (Flynn) (16:15): I rise today to raise awareness of the fight currently faced by farmers along the Boyne River in the Burnett region of my electorate of Flynn. The Boyne River is home to a suite of high-value agricultural operations and products, producing citrus, pecan nuts, blueberries and smaller crops, utilising water from the Boondooma dam. Irrigation agriculture on the Boyne has an estimated value of $90 million. Boondooma dam sits across the Boyne River between Boondooma and Okeden in South Burnett. Built in 1982, it has a capacity of 204,000 megalitres. A pipeline built in 1983 which was badly damaged in the flood of 2001 needs search repair.

The Tarong powerhouse and the Boyne River irrigators are the beneficiaries of these two pieces of infrastructure established in the 1980s under Joh. Irrigators along the Boyne River have been notified that they will have no water come March as the 70,000-megalitre threshold is getting very close. It is currently at 72,000 megalitres. Losing this water will have a devastating effect on the local communities, as it will on agricultural output. Up to 900 people work on these farms in peak season. I want the Queensland government to look at water infrastructure. It is a very valuable part of our increase in agricultural products.