Monday, July 27, 2020
Water prices paid by farmers will be slashed by almost 20% a year from 1 July 2021 in a major job-boosting election commitment by LNP Leader Deb Frecklington.
Ms Frecklington made the announcement in the Burdekin today as part of her economic plan to stimulate the economy and drag Queensland out of recession.
“A major part of the LNP’s plan to supercharge the regions and unleash industry is through new dams and water infrastructure,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Today we complement our bold dam building plan by slashing water costs for farmers.
“Cheaper water means more secure regional jobs and a near 20% reduction in water costs is a major job-creator for regional Queensland.
“I want Queensland to be Australia’s food bowl and cheaper water costs will be a
catalyst for that.”
Ms Frecklington said the LNP will implement recommendations from the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) to reduce water costs by transitioning SunWater to a regulated asset-based (RAB) approach for financing asset renewals.
The RAB approach recovers costs from customers as incurred yearly rather than attempting to estimate the replacement cost of an asset at the end of its life.
By adopting the QCA’s recommendation to modernise the way Sunwater calculates its asset renewal allowances, as has been done in other states, Sunwater will be more efficient and adopt new technologies.
“SunWater currently services nearly 5,000 irrigator customers throughout rural and regional Queensland by providing water for crops like fruit, vegetables, cane, cotton and grains,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The LNP understands water prices are already too high and without affordable water Queensland businesses and farms won’t be able to employ Queenslanders.
“Our dam building plan will create thousands of secure jobs, but we need to ensure those already using water to grow our job-creating crops can afford it.”
The LNP’s dam plan includes water infrastructure projects like the New Bradfield Scheme, Nullinga Dam, Urannah Dam, Emu Swamp Dam, Rookwood Weir, raising Burdekin Falls Dam and fixing Paradise Dam.
LNP Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Burdekin MP Dale Last said today’s announcement meant more money in the pocket of farmers and more secure local jobs for rural and regional Queensland.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government has no plan to provide the long-term structural reform farmers need to ensure they will have access to affordable water,” said Mr Last.
“The cost of water under the Palaszczuk Labor Government is hurting our farmers and costing all-important jobs in our regions.
“Under proposed water price increases slated for just after the election, there are farmers in line for price hikes of more than 48 per cent.
“The LNP will deliver huge savings so farmers can boost productivity and employ more Queenslanders
“Only an LNP Government will back our farmers, invest for growth and supercharge the regions.”