Thank you to our sponsors who have made this forum possible.

Gold Sponsors

Burdekin Shire Council (BSC)

The Burdekin Shire Council covers an area of approximately 5,053 square kilometres and is bordered by Townsville City Council to the north, Charters Towers Regional Council to the west and Whitsunday Regional Council to the south.

The Shire has an estimated resident population of approximately 17,651 as at the 2016 census and is categorised as a Rural Agricultural Very Large (RAV) Local Authority under the Australian classification of Local Governments.

The Burdekin Shire Council has invested interest in ensuring the long term sustainability of our valuable natural resources. Council established the Burdekin Water Futures (BWF) group in 2006 to facilitate a more strategic approach to water management in the Burdekin. The role of managing the district’s water resources if performed by several different bodies, operating a various levels. BWF brings these different organisations together so that there is greater coordination between them and better alignment of their efforts.

Burdekin Shire Council is part of the Reef Guardian Council program which recognises the effective management and protection of the Reef requires a coordinated effort from industries, communities and all levels of government. Council acknowledges the need to improve the long term outlook of the Great Barrier Reef and has a Memorandum of Understanding between the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Burdekin Shire Council.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF)

The Queensland Government’s DAF through its Research & Development and Extension platforms, continues to support agricultural industry development opportunities in the Burdekin; and the uptake of best practice farming systems capable of improving both enterprise and sector level resilience, business, and environmental performance.

Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM)

The Department of Natural Resources and Mines is a leader in providing an environmentally sustainable water resource management framework that includes water monitoring, licensing, management and planning.

Silver Sponsors

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science – Office of Northern Australia

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources helps drive a stronger Australian economy by building a more profitable, resilient and sustainable agriculture sector, and by supporting the sustainable and productive management and use of rivers and water resources.

The department’s work contributes to: building successful primary industries; expanding agricultural fisheries and forestry exports; managing biosecurity and imported food risk; and sustaining water and other natural resources.

Australia faces major challenges in ensuring sustainable water supply in the face of increased climate variability and rising demand for water.  In response, the department provides national leadership in water reform.

Find out more at: agriculture.gov.au.

B and M Drilling Logo

B & M Drilling

B & M Drilling has a long standing history in servicing many clients in the Burdekin area; specialising in domestic, commercial and farm pump and bore designs, excavation, trenching and auger boring. We are dedicated to offering effective equipment, and supplying experienced workmanship to suit a wide variety of ground conditions.

We are a locally owned, owner operated company dedicated to providing the very best reliable and effective service possible to the Burdekin and surrounding districts.

Lower Burdekin Water (LBW)

Lower Burdekin Water is a category two water authority which is an autonomous statutory body funded by growers and industry.

Total Eden

No matter what industry you’re in and what challenges you face, we have the technical knowledge, experience and commitment to you find the right solution. Technology is changing all the time, so using a company that is involved in a whole range of applications – from domestic plumbing to large-scale irrigation, mine drainage landscaping and construction – is the best way to ensure your systems are as advanced and efficient as possible.

It won’t take you long to see that Total Eden is your partner of choice in the water supplies and project market.

NQ Dry Tropics

NQ Dry Tropics is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that is committed to sustaining our region’s natural resources for the benefit of current and future generations. We are a non-governmental Natural Resource Management (NRM) body operating in the 146,000km² Burdekin Dry Tropics region, which covers vast rural areas, as well as Townsville, Charters Towers, Greenvale, Ayr, Home Hill, Bowen, the lower Burdekin towns, Collinsville and Alpha.

Our mission is to enable and support the dry tropics community to achieve sustainable management of land and water.

Irrigation Australia

Irrigation Australia is the peak body representing the Irrigation Industry.

Bronze Sponsors


Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking.  Rabobank has nearly 120 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness.

Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 40 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 8.6 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches.  Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is one of Australasia’s leading rural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector.  The bank has 94 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

 BRIA Irrigators Limited

Platinum Sponsors


Leading the way in water solutions for today and tomorrow, SunWater has built an exceptional track record of achievement, placing us amongst the most successful water infrastructure companies in Australia.

Our reputation is based on more than 85 years of expertise and experience, delivering value to our customers and communities. We continue to build on this reputation today  and remain committed to placing the needs of our customers and communities first – whether these are for reliable water supply delivery or complex water infrastructure solutions.

From designing and building dams, and managing and operating bulk water infrastructure to conducting environmental impact studies and finding new ways to deliver water to remote locations, we are the specialists that agriculture, industry, mining and government turn to when they need the right solution for their complex water needs.

With almost 5,000 customers and a highly skilled workforce, we can assist with all aspects of managing, operating, designing and developing water infrastructure.

Wilmar Sugar Australia

Wilmar Sugar owns and operates eight sugar mills in North and Central Queensland, which together manufacture more than half of Australia’s raw sugar. Four of the mills are in the agriculturally significant Burdekin region where Wilmar Sugar employs 900 people during the annual crushing season.

Wilmar Sugar is Australia’s largest generator of renewable energy from biomass, producing enough electricity to power more than 81,000 Australian homes. It is also Queensland’s largest producer of bioethanol for motor vehicles.

Wilmar Sugar employs more than 2000 Queenslanders across its eight mills and provides apprenticeship and graduate opportunities each year.

The company is a major supporter of community events across its milling regions and is proud to be a sponsor of the 2017 Burdekin Water Forum.

Ergon Energy

Ergon Energy is part of the Energy Queensland group and supplies electricity to over 740,000 customers across regional Queensland from the expanding coastal and rural population centres to the remote communities of outback Queensland and the Torres Strait.

Our purpose is to provide safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable energy solutions to support our customers and the Queensland economy. To make this happen, we have approximately 4,000 employees most of whom live and work in regional Queensland and an $11.8 billion asset base.

Our electricity network consists of approximately 160,000 kilometres of powerlines and one million power poles, along with associated infrastructure such as major substations and power transformers. We also own and operate 33 stand-alone power stations that provide supply to isolated communities across Queensland which are not connected to the main electricity grid.

We’re also a major employer and contributor to the development of skills across regional Queensland.

Burdekin Shire Rivers Improvement Trust

The Trust was established following a disastrous flood in the Burdekin River in 1940 which resulted in extensive damage to the banks of the river and adjoining agricultural land. At the time there were no organisations in Queensland with responsibility for attending to the damage caused by river flooding. The Queensland Government at the time called for a number of government departments to group together to carry out the necessary repairs to the river banks.

After this event it was realised that an organisation needed to be established to be responsible for the management of the bed and banks of the Burdekin River. On 16 October 1940 the “Burdekin River Trust Act of 1940” was assented to. The Burdekin River Trust was constituted by Order-in-Council in early 1941 being the first River Trust in Queensland.

The Burdekin River Trust continued to be the only Trust in Queensland until several years later when the Act became known as the “River Improvement Trust Act” allowing Trusts to be formed throughout Queensland.

The Burdekin Shire River Improvement Trust and the Haughton River Improvement Trust were amalgamated on 12 February 1988 forming the Burdekin Shire Rivers Improvement Trust.

The function of the Trust is to protect, repair and improve the beds and banks of the Burdekin River, Haughton River and tributaries in the Burdekin Shire and to prevent and/or mitigate flooding.

The focus of the Trust in recent years has been on weed management and water quality due to the Shire only experiencing moderate wet seasons with no major flooding.

Vegetation management in both river systems is the main problem facing the Trust. The Trust has recently commenced partial removal of vegetation in the Burdekin River successfully. However the vegetation management in the Burdekin River needs to be further addressed and attended to.