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Extended flood margin licence offers landholders long-term grazing benefits


Landholders adjacent to Fairbairn Dam will be the first to access a new extended 30-year licence agreement to use SunWater’s flood margin land for grazing, providing greater long-term surety for capital investments to manage the land.

A review of SunWater’s standard 10-year flood margin licence agreement was negotiated with Queensland industry group AgForce and offers landowners the option of long-term licences for agricultural use in exchange for general upkeep of the land in terms of weed and vegetation management.

SunWater Chief Executive Nicole Hollows said the agreement was a collaborative process and has resulted in a positive outcome that provides landowners greater certainty and lessens the administrative burden of shorter-term licences.

“Through the good work of AgForce, SunWater is able to offer longer lease terms for landowners who choose to make productive use of the flood margin land adjacent to our dams,” she said.

“Local landholders are often best placed to sustainably manage these parcels of land and this new arrangement recognises and values their long-term commitment to assisting with the management of areas of flood margin at our dams.

“We have gone to significant lengths to change the terms so that landholders can confidently establish infrastructure knowing that their capital investments in fencing and other structures are guaranteed for at least 30 years.”

AgForce CEO Charles Burke said the Fairbairn Dam flood margin licences for a peppercorn fee of $1 a year were the result of successful collaboration between Emerald landholders, AgForce and SunWater.

“The new agreement that has been hammered out between AgForce, SunWater and the Emerald landholders is a win-win that delivers more security and lower fees for primary producers, and clear land management outcomes,” he said.

The new licence will now be used as a template for agreement with more than 300 primary producers across regional Queensland who use land next to the 19 SunWater-owned water storages.

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