Queensland’s Mary Basin Water Plan has been finalised after an extensive review process.

The state’s Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing, and Water, Glenn Butcher,  says the new plan comes after nearly three years of community consultations and detailed scientific assessments.

The Mary Basin, a vital agricultural area, has had its water management strategies overhauled to better align with the needs of local growers, urban areas, and the preservation of natural habitats. 

Concern has been raised several times in recent years, with reports that the river has come perilously close to running dry. 

According to Minister Butcher, the new plan is a balanced approach, ensuring water availability for agricultural and urban use while conserving the ecological health of the river system.

The plan specifies volumes of water designated for consumption and those required to be retained within the river system to support environmental sustainability.

It includes modifications to water entitlements to more accurately meet the seasonal water needs of farmers, along with improved water trading opportunities.

It also earmarks a reserve of 70,485 megalitres for future needs, particularly for the Gympie and Fraser Coast Regional Councils, to ensure regional growth can be met.

The plan has additional measures to enhance freshwater flows to the Ramsar-listed Great Sandy Strait, crucial for maintaining its biodiversity.

Butcher has expressed satisfaction with the expert-driven development of the water plan, Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing, Regional Development, and Jobs, Bruce Saunders, also lauded the plan's balance between extraction and ecological needs.

More details about the Mary Basin water plan area are accessible here.