By Growcom Interim CEO, Pat Hannan

Last week the Queensland Horticulture Council successfully launched A green spring in Queensland, the policy platform of the horticulture industry for the coming Queensland election.

Ahead of the launch the Council had positive and productive meetings with both the Government and Opposition, with each reporting they’re giving the platform and the commitments we’ve requested of the next Queensland Government their careful consideration.

In this same column last week we talked about why horticulture needs a new deal with the next Queensland Government, that includes developing a shared vision of where we want our industry to be, and a strategy with a set of actions, accountabilities and resources to ensure we get there.

This week we turn our attention to water, and it’s security and affordability.

Horticulture will be the cornerstone of an agriculture led recovery of the Queensland economy. We are the second largest and fastest growing agricultural sector.

But this green spring in Queensland for our industry will come to nothing without secure and affordable water.

Water storages are absolutely essential infrastructure, not just for regional jobs and economies, but for ensuring we have healthy and fresh food sitting on the table in every Queensland home. They’re also essential for attracting overseas and interstate investment to Queensland.

And yet a number of major horticultural regions across the State are struggling with expensive and insecure water.

So the Queensland Horticulture Council is calling on the next Queensland Government to commit to:

  • Maintaining and protecting existing water allocations and entitlements;
  • Removing dam safety costs from irrigation water pricing in perpetuity; and
  • Exploring and investing in local water infrastructure projects that have the support of regional growing associations and groups.

Too often just before an election politicians get carried away committing to building dams that end up not being fully utilised.

Instead, as a society, we now need to take a step back and develop a long term strategic view of our water and food security, that takes likely changes in our climate into account.

To learn more about A green spring in Queensland visit our website: www.growcom.com.au/a-green-spring-in-queensland