November 28, 2019
South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell has defended a decision by Council to charge Swickers’ a lesser rate for water used at their Kingaroy abattoir.
At the November Council meeting, councillors voted unanimously to extend a discount on Swickers’ water supply charges to June 2020.
They were told Swickers had requested they be charged a Tier 1 rate ($1.67 per kilolitre) for all their Kingaroy plant’s water consumption.
Swickers would normally be charged $1.67 per kl for their first 20,000 kilolitres, then $2.24 per kl after this.
Mayor Campbell said water was an essential ingredient to enable production at the abattoir and provide ongoing employment which contributes to the region’s economy.
He said because of the current dry conditions, Swickers had exhausted its own on-site water supplies.
“They have initiated practices, where possible, to utilise minimum quantities of water in their processing, and have done everything possible to use water as effectively and efficiently as possible. Council commends the efforts they employ to achieve this result,” Mayor Campbell said.
“The resolution that was passed at the November 2019 Council Meeting is the same in context as was passed for water usage during the preceding two years.
“It recovers treatment costs and ratepayers are not disadvantaged. It acknowledges that Swickers have done everything possible to be as efficient and effective as possible in their factory.
“Their use of water from the town supply is not likely to reduce until heavy and sustained rains occur.
“Council acknowledges that the draw from the town’s supply will be dependent on rain to fill the aquifers so they can use their own water supplies to supplement their needs to run the factory.
“From the perspective of Council, respecting the economic worth of the Swickers / Sun Pork enterprise to this region, there is no appetite from this Council to profit from the hardship that is being experienced,” Mayor Campbell said.
“The report accompanying the recommendation presented to the Council Meeting last week was well explained.
“The motion to continue to charge Tier 1 for the first 20,000 kilolitres of water used in each six month period was carried unanimously.”