Drought-stricken farmers hit with Labor tax for water meters

The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s plan to slug farmers up to $100,000 to install new water meters while drought grips the state is out of touch.

The Proposal for strengthening non-urban water measurement, which Labor has issued to relevant users, dictates that water entitlement holders will bear all costs relating to installing new meters.

The cost of a water meter ranges from $8,000 up to $100,000 per meter*.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said Labor’s new tax placed an additional cost on farmers, many of whom don’t have a drop of water for meters to read.

“The LNP knows drought and water security are the number one issues facing Queensland right now,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Farmers have been blindsided by this heartless tax and many of them are already under financial strain.

“Farmers are calling it the worst drought in living memory and they need more support, not another Labor tax.

“Slugging farmers up to $100,000 at a time like this shows just how out of touch Labor is with life in regional Queensland.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to show some leadership and rule this out.”

Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Dale Last said the LNP supported the sustainable use of water through a modern and accurate metering system, but the timing of the Labor’s water meter tax would cruel farmers.

“The middle of a drought is not the time to be taxing farmers for water that some of them don’t even have,” Mr Last said.

“It shows just how out of touch and anti-regions this Palaszczuk Labor Government is to be asking for farmers to pay up during drought

“Water costs are high enough without another Labor tax.”

Mr Last encouraged farmers and water holders to make their voice heard during the Government’s consultation**.

* See page 14 of Proposal for strengthening non-urban water measurement:

https://www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1453849/proposals-strengthening-water-measurement.pdf

** https://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi/consultation/5757/view.html

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