28th March 2007The Queensland Government has overcome national pressure to follow through with its plans to auction 8000 megalitres of water on the Warrego River in southwest Queensland.
Last month, the auctions were put on hold indefinitely, following concerns of over-allocation from a feeder river of the Murray Darling Basin, during extended drought.
But Prime Minister, John Howard, declared last week that he had no objection to the sale, and 8000ML was a small volume relative to the system as a whole.
“As this proposal is consistent with the approved water sharing plan for the Warrego, I can advise that the Commonwealth Government has no objection to the Queensland Government proceeding with the sale,” Mr Howard said.
Water Minister Craig Wallace said the Prime Minister’s concession proved that Queensland water planners and irrigators had been right on the issue.
“Our water planning for the Warrego was not flawed,” Mr Wallace said.
The new auction date is to be advised.
SOURCE: Queensland Country Life weekly rural news service