Higher ir­ri­ga­tion cost will im­pact

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Sue Har­ris sue.har­ris@cnbtimes.com.au

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.”

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