Key water authority to be based in Bowen
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- Published: 08 September 2021
The Federal Government plans to relocate the North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority (NQWIA) from Canberra to Bowen and expand the organisation.
The NQWIA was established in 2019 to provide strategic planning and coordination of Commonwealth resources to implement the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme and the Hells Gates Dam project, including Big Rocks Weir.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce (pictured right) said moving the NQWIA north would put it at the heart of the region it supports.
“This shift will see the North Queensland Water Infrastructure Authority strategically located adjacent to the proposed Urannah Dam, and the same region where we are building the Big Rocks Weir project and investigating a future Hells Gates Dam,” Mr Joyce said.
“North Queensland is also where we will start on the long-term nation-building task of expanding irrigated agriculture by moving a portion of the abundant resource of water west.
“The authority will become a bigger organisation, with the people and skills to realise the economic transformation of North Queensland.
“This expanded organisation will have the task of delivering my strategy of moving water from where it is plentiful, to open up new opportunities for agriculture in the west.
“This will of course require new dams and pipelines. It will be a major undertaking and will change our vision for the future of that region for decades to come.”
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen welcomed the NQWIA shift to Bowen.
“This move will create skilled, highly paid jobs in the region, encouraging new families to move to the region to support the local economy, including local businesses and service providers,” Mr Christensen said.
“This will stimulate flow-on jobs later down the track – making this a truly exciting time for North Queensland.”