Wide Bay member Llew O'Brien
Wide Bay member Llew O'Brien

State ‘needs to stump up water storage funds’

THE State Government needs to contribute funds to provide water security for the region.

That’s what Wide Bay MP Llew O’Brien believes.

MSF Sugar chief executive Mike Barry spoke out on the issue this week, saying boosting the region’s water supply and boosting irrigation for cane farmers would be a game-changer for the economy.

My O’Brien said while he had already supplied funding for a water storage facility for Maryborough, the State Government needed to do more.

“Water supply policy is a matter for state and local governments, but despite a lot of talk, the Palaszczuk-Trad Labor Government has repeatedly failed to deliver funding for water to protect Maryborough’s vital sugar industry,” he said.

“MSF has made its operations as lean and efficient as possible, but they have been continually left out to dry by the State Government. Labor’s failure to fund water infrastructure meant that Maryborough cane farmers, their employees and contractors, and the workers at the sugar mill were all at risk.

“In contrast, I have worked alongside MSF Sugar to secure an $18 million commitment from the Morrison Government to build the 6000 mega litre off-stream water storage project at Glendorf, securing more than 600 local sugar industry jobs into the future.”

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham said he understood MSF Sugar is already working with the Australian Government on Glendorf Off Stream Storage, which required no state funding.

“Sunwater remains open to working with MSF Sugar and the Lower Mary River Customer Advisory Board on commercial options to improve water security in the Lower Mary Scheme,” he said.