“Cubbie Station” is a large-scale irrigation and dryland cropping enterprise situated at Dirranbandi in the south-west region of Queensland. Cubbie Station is an aggregation of former sheep and cattle grazing properties that lies predominantly on the Lower Balonne Floodplain in southern Queensland.
The property comprises over 80,000 hectares of which area is developed for irrigated production as well as irrigation support infrastructure, area for dryland cropping, and area for grazing purposes. The property has been designed to harvest water from significant flood events and store irrigation water on farm in extremely efficient water storage infrastructure.
The property’s unique gravity diversion infrastructure proves highly beneficial both environmentally and economically. This infrastructure can fully command that Cubbie’s entitlement is diverted in accordance to regulation stipulated on the water allocation licences.
More than half the farm is susceptible to inundation in a 1 in 10 year flood, while many smaller floods would inundate little more than the floodways that have been left between farming land. Soil type and native vegetation on Cubbie Station reflect the frequency of flooding. Woodland dominated by Coolibah trees grows on black, cracking clay soil on commonly flooded land, with lignum also growing on the most frequently flooded land. Some areas of black clay that are rarely flooded carry Mitchell Grass.
The property’s irrigation infrastructure is protected by levees, all levees at Cubbie Station (Levee map) have been assessed and comply with the Lower Balonne Floodplain Management Plan. This plan was developed by the Lower Balonne Advisory Committee. The committee, formed in the early ’90’s, represents all stakeholders, including graziers and irrigators on the floodplain. Its goal was to develop a plan that would assess development proposals under a voluntary ‘Code of Best Practice’ methodology.