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Detailed below is a media release by the Queensland Cane Growers Association for your information.

As you know the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has called for submissions regarding SEQ water pricing and I am sure that the Turf Producers can obtain some assistance from the media release below.

CANEGROWERS has called on the new Queensland Government to put massive water price hikes recommended by QCA, under a directive of the previous cash-strapped government, on hold.

The peak group has called for much needed time to be allowed by the new government for robust data to be put together, before a decision on what is a massive cost to the vast majority of sugarcane growers, is decided.

“This will rip profitability from irrigated sugarcane farms across Queensland. The recommended water prices are unsustainable and unjustifiable. They are inconsistent with the new government’s vision of agriculture as one of the four pillars of the Queensland economy,” says CANEGROWERS CEO, Steve Greenwood.

Following today’s release of QCA’s recommendations on SunWater irrigation prices, CANEGROWERS has called on the Queensland Government to reject the recommended price increases and immediately freeze irrigation water prices for distribution schemes at current levels until a further review has been conducted.

“QCA’s recommendations are coloured by an ill-conceived and poorly specified terms of reference designed to increase government revenue,” explains Greenwood. “CANEGROWERS seeks the introduction of an irrigation water pricing system and tariff structure which would mirror that resulting from a competitive market structure. Prices and tariffs should provide performance incentives, encourage reductions in cost across the supply chain and enable irrigation water users to remain internationally competitive.”

CANEGROWERS has worked long and hard to have the iniquitous issues associated with irrigation water pricing resolved. We will work with the new Queensland government to establish efficient systems and processes that will allow the sugar industry to achieve its potential.  Greenwood says that current irrigation water prices are too high. “Queensland can provide the food to meet growing Asian demand, but not at the recommended water prices.”


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