Queensland irrigators will see their water prices remain the same or fall and will not have to contribute to dam safety costs following continued advocacy by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) and industry members.
In response to the Queensland Competition Authority’s (QCA) Rural Irrigation Price Investigation 2020-24 report, the state government today announced it would freeze irrigation prices for one year, pass on any price decreases and absorb dam safety costs for the next four years.
QFF President Allan Dingle welcomed the Queensland Government’s decision and thanked them for finally listening to the concerns of farmers who continue to work through the impacts of natural disasters, biosecurity incursions and the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some irrigation schemes were facing significant cost increases without taking into account irrigators’ ability to pay, while dam safety is a community responsibility and provides no additional benefit to farmers,” Mr Dingle said.
“With clarity regarding the long-term viability of some schemes and positive benefits for the productivity and profitability of Queensland farm businesses, particularly in the Burdekin and Three Moon Creek, farmers can now continue producing high quality food, fibre and foliage.”
“However, QFF is disappointed the announcement has maintained the long-standing inequity that some irrigators continue to pay well above “lower-bound” costs, which is the level of pricing the government has been aiming for.”
“While the government has heard and acted on our concerns, we expect them to continue consulting with industry over the next 12 months as they reassess and decide on prices to apply for 2021-22.”