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Paradise Dam study seeks business input

Paradise Dam
Businesses have been invited to have their say on the impact of water being released from Paradise Dam.

A survey has been created for businesses to have their say on the impact that changes to Paradise Dam will have on their operations.

The survey is part of a comprehensive economic report being conducted by Adept Economics.

It was recently commissioned by a consortium made up of Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils, Regional Development Australia Wide Bay, Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers, Canegrowers Isis, Bundaberg Canegrowers, Bundaberg Regional Council and others.

The report will quantify the value  per megalitre of water for the region, along with an estimate of the economic potential that will be lost across the region if water capacity in Paradise Dam is not reinstated.

It will be used by the consortium to publicly advocate for the full remediation of Paradise Dam to its original capacity.

According to National Institute of Economic and Industry Research Bundaberg’s $4.2 billion economy is highly reliant on irrigated agriculture. 

In 2018-19, agriculture employed 3095 residents and provided more than $1.24 billion in output representing approximately 15.7 per cent of the local economy. 

Much of this output is directly linked to the availability of irrigation water.

Paradise Dam business survey
Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers managing director Bree Grima and farmer Craig Van Rooyen joined Mayor Jack Dempsey to show their support for the Paradise Dam petition.

Importance of water security

Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey encouraged businesses to fill out the survey to estimate the impacts on the region if Paradise Dam is not reinstated after safety repairs are completed.

“We know the loss of water security has the potential to delay investment plans in our region by growers who would otherwise rely on consistent long-term water allocations,” Mayor Dempsey said.

The survey asks businesses to give examples of how their business would be affected if the region’s water security was threatened.

The results of the survey will then be used to support independent economic modelling of the costs to the region if water in Paradise Dam is not reinstated.

“The report covers a wide range of impacts and one of the most important stakeholders who will be impacted is our business community – both agricultural and other businesses; and this affects all of us,” Mayor Dempsey said.

The survey can be taken here and closes on Friday, 24 January 2020.

Anyone with questions about the survey should contact Nick Behrens at Adept Economics on 0448 034 355.

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