Next steps to slashing irrigation prices unveiled

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water The Honourable Glenn Butcher

Taking advantage of big cuts to the price of irrigation water will be made easy for Queensland’s irrigators through steps announced today to fulfil the Queensland Government’s $50 million election commitment.

Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water said that for many irrigators their discount would be automatic.

“The Palaszczuk Government knows that Queensland’s agriculture industry is critical to delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Butcher said.

“From 1 July, when we begin the new financial year, every irrigator who buys water from Queensland’s state-owned irrigation schemes, will automatically see 15 per cent cut from their water bill.

“That’s all there is to it – 15 per cent, straight off their bills.”

For horticultural growers – who are getting a 50 per cent total discount on their bills in light of the jobs and economic growth created by fruit, vegetable, nut and turf operations – the balance of their discount will be delivered through a 35 per cent rebate.

“Our objective is to ensure that it’s simple and straightforward for horticulture growers to claim their additional discount,” Mr Butcher said.

“That’s why I’ve written to the Minister for Agriculture Mark Furner seeking the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) to help design and deliver a rebate scheme that’s simple to understand, easy to use, and won’t mean any extra measurement or complicated bookkeeping for irrigators.

“QRIDA has been helping farmers take care of their bottom lines for more than 25 years, and that makes them the perfect people to deliver a rebate scheme that puts money back in the pockets of our horticultural growers.”

The Queensland Government’s $50 million election commitment means the government will provide $81.6 million to support irrigators over the next three years.

Mr Butcher said that keeping irrigation prices down was important to supporting Queensland’s ongoing economic recovery.

“Irrigated agriculture is one of Queensland’s biggest industries, both in terms of employment and value to our economy.

“We’re committed to supporting the continuing growth of that industry, and the irrigators who make it happen.”

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