Coalstoun Lakes dairy farmer's pipe dream
ONE OF the last remaining active dairy farmers in the North Burnett has issued a strong endorsement of a Coalstoun Lakes irrigation group's plan to build a pipeline from Paradise Dam while blasting the State Government for its lack of interest in the project.
"Agronomists have done tests on this soil here and it has come up better than any other volcanic soil that they have found anywhere in Australia,” Central Queensland Dairy Fresh farmer Robbie Radel, who is also a North Burnett councillor, said
"If you draw a straight line to Paradise Dam, which they are currently letting (100,000ML) out of, it's a 27km pipeline to run that water to the most fertile volcanic soil in the country.
"And we can't get a government that's prepared to invest $150 million to get it here.
"Now they blow that on their annual junkets but they won't invest in agriculture.
"That's what's so frustrating. We've put business case after business case to them, knowing what the soil can do with water.
"If you can get water at the crucial time for a crop around here, it increases it by almost seven times the production.
"If we get rain at the right times here, we pull off massive, massive crops of such high quality.
"We really would be the next food bowl.
"We're an hour to the coast, three hours from (Toowoomba) Wellcamp Airport for export, three hours to the markets in Brisbane.
"It's the perfect location, all we've got to do is just add water.”
It's not just the irrigators who are dreaming of Paradise Dam's water: Mr Radel said he will be sinking another bore shortly in the dream of "striking good irrigation water”.
"No one (in Coalstoun Lakes) has found anything other than stock bores,” he said.
"That doesn't mean there's nothing there, just that no one has found it yet.”
Mr Radel revealed that each of his 66 milking cows consumes up to 200L of water per day at full milk production.
The Coalstoun Lakes Develop Group's 'Just Add Water' envisages a pipeline connecting Paradise Dam to the Tarong Pipeline, which would irrigate the entire Burnett region.
The group has been seeking a meeting with Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham, for more than a year, but has so far been unsuccessful.