The Bradfield Scheme was devised by Dr John Job Crew Bradfield (1867-1943), a Queensland born Civil Engineer who also designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Brisbane Story Bridge.
The inland irrigation project that Dr Bradfield proposed was designed to irrigate and drought-proof much of the Queensland interior, as well as large areas of South Australia. The scheme would require large pipes, tunnels, pumps and dams.
The scheme involved the diverting of water from the upper reaches of the Johnson, Tully, Herbert, Burdekin and Flinders Rivers. These Queensland rivers are fed by the monsoon and currently flow out into the ocean. The water would enter the Thomson River on the other side of the Great Dividing Range and eventually flow south west to Lake Eyre.