The Palaszczuk Labor Government has referred irrigation pricing to the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA), laying the foundations for water price increases by passing on dam safety* and flood mitigation** costs to farmers.
Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Dale Last said he was extremely concerned that Annastacia Palaszczuk had opened the door to significant water price increases for Queensland farmers.
“The inclusion of dam safety and flood mitigation costs in the referral notice to the QCA will see these costs directly passed onto irrigating farmers through significant price increases for water,” said Mr Last.
“Given the significant dam safety costs in the pipeline for particular regional irrigation schemes, there will be significant price increases that will put in jeopardy the future of irrigation in those regions.
“The Liberal National Party is calling on Labor to rule out passing these costs onto farmers that will see water no longer being affordable for agricultural purposes.
“This Labor Government is so anti-farmer it is looking to include ballooning costs like dam safety and flood mitigation that will put the cost of water out of reach for our farm businesses.
“Whether it’s creating barriers to water access through high electricity and water costs or just removing the water altogether***, Labor’s anti-farmer and anti-water agenda hurts rural and regional Queensland.
“The difference between this Labor Government and a Deb Frecklington LNP Government could not be clearer. While Labor is pulling down Queensland’s dams and making water unaffordable, the LNP is committed to building new dams and providing affordable water to grow our regions.
“The LNP will develop of a 30-year water security plan for Queensland in consultation with Seqwater, Sunwater and local governments and establish a mechanism for reviewing the current price targets.”
*Referral and Direction Notice: B Section 24 – Direction (1.2) & (1.3) http://www.qca.org.au/getattachment/59e4a842-109a-4509-bb50-7b8290a5e0be/Referral-notice.aspx
** Referral and Direction Notice: C Section 24 - Matters for consideration in making recommendations (1.2)(b)(i) http://www.qca.org.au/getattachment/59e4a842-109a-4509-bb50-7b8290a5e0be/Referral-notice.aspx