Talking dam water and price of power
THE LNP’s over-simplification of Queensland’s dam water situation and the effect on irrigators is because their members fail to understand the dams’ operations and associated costs.
The Palaszczuk government absolutely wants farmers and irrigators to be able to use available water appropriately and is constantly working with landholders via my Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy and with water and electricity providers.
As a direct result of our affordability measures, the QCA did not increase electricity tariffs for farming and irrigation customers in 2018–19.
Many irrigators are exposed to electricity usage through two ways.
The first is through their on-farm pumping costs.
Farming and irrigation customers are encouraged to contact Ergon Energy, which can provide free advice on the best electricity tariff for their business needs.
The second is included in the price of water. To reduce the impact as much as possible, the government directs SunWater to provide water below cost to irrigation customers.
Under the current price paths (set in 2012 as part of the last QCA price review), SunWater does not fully recoup the cost of pumping and delivering water to its irrigation customers.
This year the Palaszczuk government will spend about $464 million to subsidise the cost of electricity for about 700,000 regional Queenslanders so they pay a similar price to customers in the southeast.
The government has committed $10 million towards extending the successful Energy Savers Plus Program.
The program, delivered in partnership with Queensland Farmers Federation, support 200 farms with a free energy audit and funding to help improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs.
— Dr Anthony Lynham, Minister for Natural Resources