April 4, 2019
The LNP has warned that Queensland farmers face substantial price rises for water if a move towards “cost-reflective” pricing is adopted.
Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington said a projected increase in the Barker-Barambah scheme was “completely unacceptable and out of touch with the real world”.
“There is a proposed increase in water prices from $30/ML to $74/ML and this is simply unaffordable for our Barker-Barambah irrigators,” she said.
“If these increases go ahead, many irrigators will have to cease production.”
Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Dale Last highlighted a submission from the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) to the Queensland Competition Authority review in water pricing.
“The QFF used State-owned Sunwater’s own ‘cost-reflective’ numbers to identify significant price increases for farmers already struggling under the burden of high water and electricity prices,” Mr Last said.
“The projected price increases we are seeing for some irrigation schemes are unacceptable and should be of major concern to farmers and the communities that rely on them.
“If the Labor Government wants to move to ‘cost-reflective’ pricing for water then it has a lot more work to do to ensure SunWater is providing value for money to its rural customers.”
Mr Last said ‘cost-reflective’ pricing would effectively kill numerous irrigation schemes in regional Queensland.
“These price increases have real world impacts on our rural and regional communities,” he said.
QFF identified the following SunWater cost blowouts: