Price freeze offers further relief for farmers
Thousands of Queensland farmers will see their irrigation water prices remain the same or fall next year thanks to a Queensland Government price freeze.
The Government would freeze irrigation prices for a year and absorb dam safety costs as part of ongoing measures to support Queensland business and industry through the COVID-19 crisis.
The Government will invest $14.7 million - about $2300 per farmer - in 2020-21 to keep prices low for irrigators.
The government’s decision means that irrigators will, on average, be roughly $400 a year better off in 2020-21 than this year.
The independent QCA recommended irrigation water prices for irrigators over the next four years from 1 July 2020 to 30 June, 2024. The prices are to contribute towards the cost of supplying water to the state’s 35 irrigation schemes supplying 6400 farmers from Mareeba in Far North Queensland, west to Cunnamulla and south to Yelarbon.
The Government will:
- absorb price increases in 2020-21 recommended by the Queensland Competition Authority.
- pass on any price decreases recommended by the Queensland Competition Authority
- subsidise $42 million worth of dam safety upgrades across the state over the next for years rather than ask irrigators to contribute towards them.
The freeze is a temporary relief measure, just as other Queensland businesses are receiving because of COVID-19.
The government will monitor conditions over the next 12 months before it re-assesses and decides on prices to apply from 2021-22.
For more information on advice and assistance for agriculture businesses during the COVID-19 emergency, including financial and wellbeing support, visit https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/farms-fishing-forestry/agriculture/coronavirus-support
Last updated 5 May 2020