The Granite Belt in southern Queensland produces around $300 million worth of fruit and vegetables each year, and is the second-largest apple growing region in the country. The region also produces half of Australia's strawberries and more than half of the eastern seaboard's tomatoes every summer.
Growers in the key horticultural regions of Queensland say investment in dams and pipelines will create hundreds of jobs and help droughtproof the state's fruit and vegetable production.
The Granite Belt has been drought-declared since May 2018, and the popular town of Stanthorpe has been trucking in its drinking water since January, making water security the biggest election issue this coming election.
Many growers in the Granite Belt believe the construction of the proposed Emu Swamp Dam will provide the water security they need. The $84 million project will dam the Severn River creating a 12,000 megalitre water storage, which will supply local farms via a 117km pipe network. Emu Swamp Dam has the support of both the Labor and LNP Parties in Queensland, as well as farmers who will contribute around 28 per cent of the total cost.