QFF lobbies for sustainable water prices
PRODUCERS slugged with rising water costs in the Lockyer Valley and Gympie regions have been promised a helping hand by the Queensland Farmers' Federation to negotiate fair prices.
Fixed annual price increases of $2 per megalitre were implemented for both water schemes on January 1 and will remain in place until 2017.
Usage costs will increase by 2.5% each year for the same period under recommendations made by the Queensland Competition Authority.
In the QFF annual report, chief executive officer Dan Galligan said the group would lobby for sustainable prices in the Central and Lower Lockyer and irrigation schemes in the Mary Valley, near Gympie.
He said farmers in those areas faced "a difficult period of adjustment" to come to terms with the new price system.
"Prices in these schemes are well below levels required to recover costs assessed by QCA," he said.
"QFF is seeking a co-ordinated effort between appropriate state agencies and SEQWater over the next four years to address the QCA's recommendations in consultation with the rural customers of the schemes.
"QFF continues to place a high priority on negotiating fairer and sustainable water prices for farmers across the state, in line with our efforts on the closely-linked issue of rising electricity prices."