Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Cubbie Station and the Clarence

With elements in the Murray-Darling Basin calling for diversion of Clarence River water, the subject of Cubbie Station is once again exercising both the minds and patience of many Clarence Valley residents.
Eventually even Messrs. Howard and Turnbull will have to address both the short and long-term negative consequences of allowing this giant sponge to exist within the Murray-Darling river system.
The Cubbie Group was formed by a merger between Blanche Cotton and Cubbie Station property groups and, principally comprises Cubbie Station, Anchorage, Aspen and Kandahah.
The Group has assets worth an estimated $440 million and owns approximately 96,000 hectares, with 20,000 hectares developed for cotton production.
It diverts water from three rivers, the Balonne, Balonne Minor and Culgoa, with weirs on Balonne Minor and Culgoa.
Additionally, it has a 5,028ML water allocation from the St. George Irrigation Project (Sunwater) as well as permission to divert water from the floodplain.
The Cubbie Group's total water storage capacity is 537,000ML, being 462,000ML at Dirranbandi and 75,000ML at St. George.
Storage dams stretch for an estimated 28 continuous kilometres.
Its water licenses allow it to extract up to 200,000ML in an average year and 500,000ML in a good year.
Annual payment for total water extraction runs at around $3,700 per annum.
The Cubbie Group represents 45% of the 1,200,000ML private storage capacity in the Lower Balonne.
The Group also represents an estimated 30% of total average diversion in the same area.
Condamine-Balonne water extraction impacts on 20% of Darling River flow and, the Cubbie Group accounts for 20% of this extraction.
[www.cubbie.com.au,24 July 2007, & www.brisinst.org.au ,13 September 2000]

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