LNP to slash Qld water prices

LNP to slash Qld water prices by 20pc

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Price plan: Burdekin MP and natural resources spokesman Dale Last and LNP Leader Deb Frecklington spoke with Kalamia Canegrowers chairman Robert Malaponte on Monday.

Price plan: Burdekin MP and natural resources spokesman Dale Last and LNP Leader Deb Frecklington spoke with Kalamia Canegrowers chairman Robert Malaponte on Monday.

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The LNP says it will cut water prices by 20pc by shifting SunWater to a regulated asset-based approach for financing asset renewals.

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WATER prices will be slashed by almost 20 per cent under a major 2020 Queensland election commitment made by LNP Leader Deb Frecklington.

Speaking in the Burdekin on Monday, Ms Frecklington said cheaper water would mean more secure regional jobs and serve as a major job-creator for regional Queensland.

"A major part of the LNP's plan to supercharge the regions and unleash industry is through new dams and water infrastructure," Ms Frecklington said.

"Today we complement our bold dam building plan by slashing water costs for farmers.

"I want Queensland to be Australia's food bowl and cheaper water costs will be a catalyst for that."

To reduce water costs Ms Frecklington said the LNP would implement recommendations from the Queensland Competition Authority by transitioning Sunwater to a regulated asset-based approach for financing asset renewals.

The RAB approach recovers costs from customers as incurred yearly, rather than attempting to estimate the replacement cost of an asset at the end of its life.

By adopting the QCA's recommendation to modernise the way Sunwater calculates its asset renewal allowances, as has been done in other states, Sunwater will be more efficient and adopt new technologies.

"Sunwater currently services nearly 5000 irrigator customers throughout rural and regional Queensland by providing water for crops like fruit, vegetables, cane, cotton and grains," Ms Frecklington said.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the government was already looking into the QCA's recommendation.

"The LNP is being reckless again and playing with farmers' expectations," Dr Lynham said.

"The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Sunwater have already had initial discussions about this recommendation, which is more than a month old."

The LNP's water infrastructure projects include the New Bradfield Scheme, Nullinga Dam, Urannah Dam, Emu Swamp Dam, Rookwood Weir, raising Burdekin Falls Dam and fixing Paradise Dam.

Burdekin MP and natural resources spokesman Dale Last said the LNP's announcement would not only benefit farmers but also secure local jobs for rural and regional Queensland.

"The Palaszczuk government has no plan to provide the long-term structural reform farmers need to ensure they will have access to affordable water," Mr Last said.

"Under proposed water price increases slated for just after the election, there are farmers in line for price hikes of more than 48pc."

The Queensland election will be held on October 31.

MORE READING: 'Water price reset needed say irrigators'.

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