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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Energy and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark McArdle

    New SunWater irrigation price path released

    Minister for Energy and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark McArdle

    Sunday, July 01, 2012

    New SunWater irrigation price path released

    THE State Government has accepted the Queensland Competition Authority’s (QCA) final report and recommendations for SunWater’s new five-year rural irrigation price path.

    Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle said the Government reached its decision after careful consideration of the QCA report and further consultation with peak irrigation bodies.

    Mr McArdle said the QCA identified significant savings in determining the prudent and efficient costs of supplying irrigation services - $98 million in past and future capital expenditure and $14 million in operating expenditure.

    Mr McArdle said the QCA recommended prices in the majority of bulk water schemes should only increase at the same level as inflation.

    In eight channel schemes, increases above inflation will be limited to $2 per mega litre/year, which is consistent with the existing price path.

    “I thank irrigators, peak industry bodies and SunWater for their significant input to this process,” Mr McArdle said.

    The Minister acknowledged the genuine concerns of irrigation peak bodies over the long-term sustainability of the industry, especially in SunWater’s distribution systems.

    “In response to these concerns, my department will investigate whether the provision of distribution water services can be put on a more sustainable footing,” said Mr McArdle.

    “This is a complex issue that will be addressed over the next few months – in collaboration with irrigation peak bodies, SunWater and other government agencies.”

    Mr McArdle said the QCA also recommended SunWater strengthen its engagement with irrigators so that operational and capital expenditure reflects customer needs.

    “I have asked SunWater to consult with the QCA and peak irrigation bodies to develop an implementation plan that ensures pricing practices take into account their customer needs,” he said.

    A copy of the plan is to be submitted to the Department of Energy and Water Supply by 30 September 2012 for its consideration.

    Mr McArdle said the State Government was committed to working with irrigators, peak bodies and SunWater to boost Queensland’s agricultural production.

    The new price path will come into effect on 1 July 2012.

    More information can be found on the QCA website at www.qca.org.au

    ENDS

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