August 8, 2019
The LNP has slammed the State Government for charging irrigators for water it can’t supply.
On Thursday, Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Dale Last called on the government to waive fixed-cost fees until Seqwater and Sunwater can begin supplying farmers with water again.
“The severity of Queensland’s drought continues to hurt our farmers with several government-owned and operated irrigation schemes so dry they’re unable to provide any water to their farming customers,” Mr Last said.
“The drought has created a situation where farmers are paying fees on their water licences even though they’re receiving zero per cent of their water allocation.
“Put simply, farmers are paying money to the Queensland Government for nothing in return.”
Mr Last said this was unfair and called on the State Government to waive the Part A irrigation fees for those farmers with a zero water allocation.
“Farmers in the South Burnett, Lockyer Valley, Southern Downs and other regions are currently paying money for nothing,” Mr Last said.
“We know Labor Governments have waived these fees in the past in severe drought, so why can’t they do it again in 2019?
“This is simple economics – farmers, or anyone else for that matter, shouldn’t be paying taxes for nothing.”
Mr Last said if Seqwater and SunWater couldn’t deliver water so farmers could grow crops, then farmers shouldn’t have to pay for it.
“The Labor Government should be doing everything to help farmers struggling with drought, not slugging them with useless fees.
“It’s bad enough that Labor is cutting drought assistance to livestock farmers by scrapping the fodder subsidies, now they are charging those growing our crops for nothing.
“It’s time for Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham to waive these unfair Part A fees to assist our struggling, drought affected farmers.”