Monday 6th Jul, 2020

QLD Govt approves $47M agricultural project

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Queensland’s $47 million 15 Mile Irrigated Agricultural Development project has been approved and will enable the production of high-value agricultural corps.

The project, located on the Flinders River around 12 kilometres north-west of Hughenden, is expected to be one of the largest employers in the region when fully developed.

State Development Minister, Cameron Dick, said the project will create five jobs during construction and 77 jobs during the initial three-year development phase.

“At full operation, the project will support a workforce of 165 staff, which is equivalent to 21 per cent of the total workforce in Flinders Shire,” Dick said.

“There are also attractive flow-on benefits to other industries in the region associated with agricultural supplies and transport.

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“Flinders Shire Council should be commended for providing access to reliable water supply and suitable cropping land, making it easier for our government to progress this exciting agricultural development for the region.”

Agricultural Industry Development Minister, Mark Furner, said the project will focus on the production of low-volume, high-value crops.

“This includes table grapes, citrus fruit and avocados, all within an irrigated agricultural precinct of around 900 hectares,” Furner said.

“It will result in greater returns and outcomes for Flinders Shire when compared to broad acre, low-return crops.

“It’s anticipated the project will contribute an additional $8-9 million annually to the gross agricultural production value of the shire.

The project has been assessed through the Coordinator-General’s Impact Assessment Report process over the course of 11 months.

Vegetation clearing will be limited to protect wetlands, watercourses and remnant vegetation in areas less suitable for agriculture.

Almost half of the site will be set aside for environmental purposes, such as native vegetation protection and buffers to watercourses and wetlands.

Construction of the project is expected to commence by the end of the year, subject to further approvals.