Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Rising Water Cost Irritates Growers

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Rising Water Cost Irritates Growers

Article excerpt

Byline: Mitch Crawley

FARMERS across the Fraser Coast could be priced out of business after the announcement that SunWater prices will increase about 50% over the next five years.

Irrigating farmers were left disappointed by the LNP's announcement that they were accepting Queensland Competition Authority recommendations to lift rates.

Maryborough cane grower Allen Birt said extra costs, when combined with recent electricity increases, could force growers to stop operating.

aIt wouldn't be sustainable,a he said.

aElectricity costs went up 10% at the start of financial year, which is on top of 25% increases in the past three years.

aAnd water prices, in 2011-12 the total price on the lower Mary channel for water that growers paid was $75.10.

aIn the next five years pricing will increase to be $196.17 in 2017.a

He said the Tinana Creek barrage area of Maryborough's irrigation scheme would not see such dramatic increases a going from $24. …

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