August 9, 2019
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has called on the State Government to waive Part A charges for irrigators using the Barker-Barambah Water Supply Scheme.
Irrigators using the scheme were advised on July 1 they will not be receiving any water this year but SunWater has issued invoices to them anyway.
In a letter to Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham, Mrs Frecklington has requested the government waive SunWater’s charges.
Mrs Frecklington said Barker-Barambah irrigators had contacted her office to explain while they understood Bjelke-Petersen Dam’s low storage volume meant they would receive no water, they were concerned they still had to pay the Part A (ie. fixed cost) portion of their SunWater bill.
Mrs Frecklington said Part A was established to separate the costs of managing the scheme and maintaining its assets from Part B (ie. consumption) charges.
But she thought it unacceptable for SunWater to expect irrigators to pay Part A costs when they received no water and were unlikely to receive any for some time, especially since the South Burnett has been drought-declared since 2017.
Mrs Frecklington said the government had waived Part A charges in 2006-2009 when water allocations were also at zero per cent.
She has called on the Minister to respect this precedent.