Higher irrigation cost will impact
NORTH Burnett irrigators are concerned about proposed changes to irrigation tariffs.
The Queensland Competition Authority recommended a 17.5% increase each year for the next seven years from July 1 for irrigation tariffs 62, 65 and 66.
“This is on top of the 250% increase in power prices that has happened since 2000,” Bundaberg Regional Irrigators Group company secretary Dale Holliss said.
“If this goes ahead, it will mean that many of Bundaberg’s farmers will not be able to afford to irrigate.”
Mundubbera grape producer Sue Allan said the changes would affect her operations and those of all irrigators.
“We need to address this as a group, so I’ll speak to our peak body Growcom and write to Member for Callide Jeff Seeney,” she said.
“Hopefully the Government of Queensland will hear us.”
North Burnett Deputy Mayor FayeWhelan has also expressed her concern.
“North Burnett’s economy is reliant on agriculture, especially the labour intensive citrus, grape and other fruits industries,” Cr Whelan said.
“Any rise in overheads on top of the flood events of 2010/11 and 2013 will be detrimental to the viability of these enterprises, which in turn affects every business in the region. Jobs will go.
“The increased charges will impact the many lucerne and dairy farms in Monto, Eidsvold and Mundubbera areas.”