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MP Presses Case For Irrigators

Filed under Breaking News, Latest News, Rural

Water levels in Bjelke-Petersen Dam are below 6 per cent because of the drought, which means local irrigators won’t get any water this year … but they are still receiving bills from SunWater

Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington

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.


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