Tina McPherson describes the local mindset of farmers as “apprehensive, bordering on anxious”. Picture: Mike Knott.
Tina McPherson describes the local mindset of farmers as “apprehensive, bordering on anxious”. Picture: Mike Knott.

Growers vent over region’s water future

FARMER Mark Mammino said that he does not want to focus on blaming anyone for the faults at Paradise Dam.

What he wants is transparency to stop the rumours from spreading across the Burnett.

"I don't get any benefit running around playing the blame game now," Mr Mammino said during a press conference on National Farmers Day on Thursday.

"I just want to see the problem fixed, I want every form of government to come out and say their number one goal is to reinstate Paradise Dam back to its original level."

With the dam level at 45 per cent, and with days left until the release of 105,000ML stops, Mr Mammino noted that there had not been as much water flushed to sea as he first feared.

Irrigators had been able to use some of the water.

"But we haven't used it as efficiently as we would have if we had it open to us for four months instead of two months," he said.

 

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett, Deputy leader of the opposition Tim Mander with Member for Bundaberg Dave Batt speak at a press conference seeking State Government transparency on Paradise Dam. Picture: Mike Knott.
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett, Deputy leader of the opposition Tim Mander with Member for Bundaberg Dave Batt speak at a press conference seeking State Government transparency on Paradise Dam. Picture: Mike Knott.

 

"We will get through this year but if we don't get a significant rain event before June next year, our announced allocation for next year will be massively released.

"It could be at the point where it's hardly viable for some crops to be grown next year."

Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers director Tina McPherson said the mindset of local farmers would be "apprehensive, boarding on anxious" due to concerns of long-term water security in the region.

"In two short months this hasn't affected our business now, but like any good business will tell you, we plan for the future," she said.

"As a grower currently in the region, you can't plan your crops or expansion without knowing you're going to have water."

Bundaberg State MP David Batt said that LNP politicians were not using the concerns about Paradise Dam to gain political advantage. He said they were pressured to respond to the frustrations of local farmers and constituents.


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