Gilbert River Agricultural Scheme Project


For some time Etheridge Shire Council has been promoting the Gilbert River Irrigation Project to facilitate more intensive agricultural development in the Shire. Etheridge Shire Council proposes to progress orderly and inclusive development of irrigated agriculture in the Gilbert River catchment in accordance with Government policy and acquisition of funds through Federal and State loan and grant facilities such as the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund.  The successful implementation of this project will facilitate development of new agricultural industries, employment opportunities and economic development generally.

Etheridge Shire Council is currently formulating the Detailed Business Case, funded under the Queensland State Government Maturing the Infrastructure Pipeline Program Stage 2 (MIPP2).  The Detailed Business Case will align with the Building Queensland Business Case Development Framework and is due for completion in March 2020.  The business case will provide a comprehensive assessment of the credentials of the project, consider the most feasible and viable development option, and, if warranted, identify a clear path to construction and operations.  

Etheridge Shire Council has engaged consulting firm Jacobs to deliver the Detailed Business Case.  Jacobs is a highly qualified firm with significant experience in delivering business cases for water infrastructure projects in Queensland and other states. Most recently, they have delivered Detailed Business Cases for the Granite Belt Irrigation Project in the Stanthorpe region and the Cave Hill Dam project near Cloncurry.

In the coming months assessments of the project will be carried out including investigations into the below-ground construction conditions, delivery infrastructure options, the potential impacts to natural and cultural values and the region’s potential for irrigated agriculture.  These assessments, along with others, will inform a financial and economic case for the project.  Investigations have confirmed a dam site on the upper Gilbert River.  Jacobs hopes to deliver the draft business case in December 2019.

If you have any questions regarding the Gilbert River Irrigation Project please contact the Etheridge Shire Council Gilbert River Irrigation Project Officer, Rolfe Ellem via the details below. 

Ph:        07 4079 9032

Mob:     0439 113 585


For additional information, view the Project Brief here.