QCA to review irrigation prices

Published Monday, 13 March, 2023 at 03:25 PM

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

  • The Queensland Competition Authority is going to review irrigation prices for Sunwater and Seqwater
  • The Palaszczuk Government is extending a 15% water discount for irrigators
  • The review will inform prices to apply from 2025/26 to 2028/29

The Palaszczuk Government is encouraging irrigators to participate in the Queensland Competition Authority’s (QCA) review of irrigation water pricing.

The QCA will carefully consider the supply costs Sunwater and Seqwater recover from irrigators, to make sure these costs are reasonable, transparent and efficient.

To allow time for the businesses and QCA to consult with irrigators, the Palaszczuk Government is extending a 15% water discount to 2024/25.

The Palaszczuk Government has also confirmed that as part of this process, irrigation prices are soon to be capped at the QCA’s assessed cost reflective level, often referred to as the lower bound price.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Water Glenn Butcher:

“The independent regulator will undertake detailed review, talking to irrigators and other stakeholders so that we strike the right balance between the interests of customers and water providers.

“I encourage all Sunwater and Seqwater irrigation customers to participate in this process to help the QCA form detailed, well-informed advice on irrigation prices for the government.

“I’m happy to announce the extension of the 15% discount for irrigators for another year, to 2024/25. 

“Queensland is one of Australia’s major food bowls, so we owe it to our growers to ensure they’re getting a good deal, for what they contribute to the Queensland economy.

“The government will consider the QCA review, including the views of customers and stakeholders, before making a decision on prices.”

Further information:

Sunwater and Seqwater own and operate more than 30 water supply schemes which supply water to around 6,000 irrigation customers throughout Queensland.

The Government remains committed to balancing the impact of water prices on customers and agricultural production against the financial viability of the water providers, Sunwater and Seqwater.

Since 2020, the Palaszczuk Government has given irrigators permanent long-term certainty that they do not need to pay any share of dam safety upgrade costs incurred by Sunwater and Seqwater.