The case for decentralisation of communities has never been stronger than it is today.
As early as 1961 $85million was being spent in commuter rail subsidies, in Brisbane alone, each year and 40% of Australia’s capital city workforce spent more than an hour travelling to and from work each day.
The mix and level of sustainable agricultural production depends on soil characteristics, the availability of water as well as infrastructure. A regional food and fibre bowl is likely to take the form of a mosaic of smaller economic hubs supported by irrigated systems.
Potential exists in more remote regions for partnership ventures to be established around the sourcing, harnessing and management of water, including indigenous communities.
Many regions at both the water source and consumption end have active regional development and management groups with strong feeder connections to authorities and community. They are well informed guardians of their region or catchment and will expect to partner in any water transfer proposals.
In 1993, all Local Authorities in North and Central Queensland joined to form the Northern Australian Water Development Council with the specific intent to make northern water schemes a reality. The Office of Northern Development at the time projected that such schemes could create $2.02 billion annually in direct output from the agriculture and pastoral industries, plus billions saved in drought losses.