Media | Local News

Water price surges to crush Lockyer Valley farmers

4th June 2019

Queensland farmers are staring down the barrel of crushing water price increases under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

The review currently underway by the Queensland Competition Authority highlighted several irrigation schemes facing significant and unsustainable price increases.

LNP Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Dale Last said a submission from peak industry group Queensland Farmers' Federation warned of potentially crippling price increases.

"Farmers are already paying sky high water and electricity prices," Mr Last said.

"Labor’s projected price increases for some irrigation schemes would be a hammer blow for farmers and local jobs.

“Based on the QFF estimates, farmers on the Lower Lockyer, Central Lockyer and Morton Vale irrigation schemes will be hit hard.

“Central Lockyer and Morton Vale irrigators will experience more than $50 per ML price increases and Lower Lockyer growers are set to be slugged with more than $38 per ML increases under Labor’s plan.

“It just goes to show that you can’t afford Labor.”

LNP MP for Lockyer Jim McDonald said the proposed price rises had the potential to wipe out irrigation in the region.

“We all know water is the lifeblood of our agriculture industries,” Mr McDonald said.

“Without water, communities like Gatton, Laidley, Grantham and Helidon will all lose production, which will cost jobs and drive up the cost of food and fibre for all Queenslanders.

“Even though price increases are capped at $2.38/ML per year plus inflation, this will mean the Lower Lockyer and Morton Vale irrigation customers are staring down the barrel of at least 17 years of consecutive water price increases.

“The message we are hearing from local farmers is that the cost of water and electricity are already too high under Labor.

“It is farcical that Labor would consider raising the cost of already unaffordable water.

"It's time for Labor to step in and guarantee the future of irrigated agriculture in Queensland."