An irrigation system using treated effluent water to grow lucerne will create an ongoing commercial operation that also reduces the volume of waste held in storage, cutting the risk of seepages and overflows.
Total project cost
* Average number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs supported by project construction (based on Queensland Treasury's Guidelines for estimating FTE jobs directly supported by the capital work program).
This project reduces the costs to council in holding and managing effluent and creates a return on investment for council and the lucerne farmer.
Council’s feasibility study found that $75,799 per annum can be generated from the irrigated lucerne operation, based on a gross margin of $3808/ha on the 19.9ha of land adjacent to the St George Airport and the current effluent storage ponds.
The hay will support other agricultural businesses such as cattle and horse studs and feedlots that will be able to access a local source of lucerne hay, reducing their freight burden.
The project will improve liveability and community satisfaction by reducing or stopping complaints over the effluent treatment plant.
Re-using the treated effluent water will reduce the volume of effluent water held in storage, thereby reducing the likelihood of overflow events and the potential for associated public health and amenity impacts.
This project will help council meet the compliance requirements of its Environmental Authority which in turn will provide public health benefits.
This project will meet the requirements of the Queensland Water Recycling Guidelines through a site-specific Recycled Water Management Plan to manage the existing seepage and overflow issues.
The currently vacant land will be used in a sustainable, productive manner.