North Johnstone Transfer study gets the green light & $3m

May 19, 2021

North Johnstone Transfer study gets the green light & $3m

May 19, 2021

A WATER assessment on the Atherton Tablelands is set to begin, after Member for Hill Shane Knuth was notified by the Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water that the project would receive $3m in funding. 

Hill MP, Shane Knuth said he was advised in a written letter from the Minister, that the North Johnstone Diversion Project would be studied as part of the Tablelands regional water assessment.

Mr Knuth and Federal MP Bob Katter have been long-time advocates of the North Johnstone Transfer project, as well as a number of irrigators, present and past members of the Tablelands Regional Council.

 “When Tinaroo Dam was constructed, it was acknowledged at the time that it would not meet future water demands on the Tablelands. As such the North Johnstone Transfer was devised, to provide an extra supplement of water to meet this future demand,” said Mr Knuth.

 “If constructed, it would be a huge asset for not only irrigators but recreational water users.

 “While   this is not scheduled to begin until 2022, I have had discussions with the Minister to bring this forward.”

Kennedy MP, Bob Katter said Shane Knuth was a miracle worker and had delivered again.

 “There’s a message here for everybody about not giving up. When I called the first meeting for the North Johnstone Transfer, three people attended,” Mr Katter said. “When I called the second meeting, six people attended.

When I called the third meeting, there were 120 people, including a whole stack of heavyweights, including KAP Member Shane Knuth, the mayor of Atherton, and the retired mayor of Atherton, and many other luminaries. Joe Moro, Makse Srhoj, Scott Dixon, you know, very, very prominent in the Mareeba community.”

Mr Katter will be seeking meetings with locals to ensure when the North Johnstone Transfer goes ahead it’s based on the Hughenden (HIPCO) model, which means local owner-operators, who cultivate and produce from the land.

  “It also means no foreign-owned farms, no major corporation owned farms and no absentee landlords,” he said.  “We get the benefit.

 We’ve got to get proactive to ensure that the   benefit comes to the people of Mareeba and Atherton. And if the people want security or more water, then that’s the way it’ll be. If they want to bring some new land under cultivation, then that’s the way it’ll be.”