Swickers is one of the South Burnett’s largest employers and a key part of the local economy
(Photo: Facebook)

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.”

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2 Responses to "Mayor Defends Swickers’ Discount"

  1. Terry Gordon  November 29, 2019

    “There is no appetite from this council to profit from the hardship that is being experienced” Mayor Campbell said.

    Seems to be a different story when council wants to charge farmers $1.65 per head per day to graze their cattle on the side of council roads.

    Apart from helping farmers in a very difficult drought situation, it would also greatly reduce the bush fire risk we are currently experiencing.

  2. Disgruntled  November 29, 2019

    No need for defence. This decision is right!! The price charged for excess is just money-making and in this instance they do need a little bit of decent consideration and I would expect that they are doing all they can to use water as sparing as they can do while complying with their legislative requirements.

    If council wants to save money there is many many other places that they should look at. And they do need to brighten up somewhat!!


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