Cotton Australia has welcomed the Queensland Government's announcement for new water licenses in north-west Queensland, which may pave the way for additional cotton-growing areas in the state.
Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, today announced new water licenses for a total of 94,220 megalitres of unallocated water from the Flinders and Gilbert river catchments.
The Queensland Government has flagged the potential for additional water licenses pending successful assessment by the CSIRO and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. Key findings are due in December 2013.
Cotton Australia Policy Manager for Queensland and Water, Michael Murray, says this week's announcement, and the possibility of more allocations, could underpin a permanent cotton industry in the region.
"Cotton has been grown intermittently in the area, including last year, but lack of reliable water entitlements and access to ginning facilities has limited development,” Mr Murray says.
“If water for regular and consistent irrigation became available, and additional water licenses are granted, it may potentially underwrite the construction of a new gin in the district, which is essential for a permanent industry."
"We have been monitoring these catchments in recent years and we stand ready to assist farmers, industry and the community in these districts to begin cotton production if they choose."
"Cotton Australia congratulates the Queensland Government on taking steps towards fulfilling its commitment to double primary production in Queensland and potentially opening up new areas of the state for cotton."
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