Queensland election: LNP water pricing promise applauded

Queensland election: LNP water pricing promiseapplaudedCotton Australia has welcomed the commitment of the Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) to reduce rural waterprices, if it is elected in October.

The LNP has committed to cutting water prices by approximately 20% from July 1, 2021, if it forms government. The LNPintend to implement recommendations from the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) to reduce water costs bytransitioning SunWater from an annuity to a regulated asset based (RAB) approach for financing asset renewals.

The announcement will provide some relief for farmers who are already doing it tough due to drought, which hasimpacted all cotton growing regions in Queensland.

Cotton Australia General Manager Michael Murray said the promise was a step in the right direction.

“Affordable and sustainable rural water prices are essential for the prosperity and jobs in rural and regional Q ueensland,”Mr Murray said.

“With regards to the specific s of the announcement, with the mechanism of shifting from an annuity approach to aRegulated Asset Based approach, Cotton Australia is keen to work with the LNP to fully understand the detail of this planand the long-term con tribution this proposed change would make to affordable and sustainable rural water prices. “Mr Murray said while the promise was welcomed, both sides of Queensland politics c an do more to support irrigators.

“Regardless of this announcement by the LNP, both the LNP and the Labor Party need to commit to ensuring noQ ueensland irrigator is paying above the Q ueensland policy of prices reflecting ‘lower bound’ costs, while pricing policyfor those irrigators currently paying less than lower bound is driven by the need to ensure prices are affordable andsustainable, rather than a simple trajectory to ‘lower bound’ costs.

“We call on both sides of politics to make this commitment.”

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