Bold plan revealed to slash cost of water for CQ’s farmers
THE LNP will slash the cost of water for farmers by almost 20 per cent if it wins the next election, as it looks to ramp up Queensland's agricultural production as part of post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
LNP's candidate for Keppel Adrian de Groot welcomed the announcement by LNP leader Deb Frecklington earlier this week that water prices paid by farmers would be slashed from July 1, 2021.
"This is a key job-boosting election commitment and it is part of the LNP's economic plan to stimulate the economy and drag Queensland out of recession," Mr de Groot said.
"It will create more secure regional jobs and make water more affordable."
A major part of the LNP's Plan to supercharge the regions and unleash industry was through new dams and water infrastructure.
The LNP's Dam Plan includes water infrastructure projects like the New Bradfield Scheme which would be Queensland's biggest-ever drought-busting infrastructure project.
The project would create tens of thousands of jobs, generate 2000 megawatts of hydro-electricity and irrigate an area of land larger than Tasmania.
"We have all seen the horrific impacts of drought, I stand with the LNP when I say I give a 'dam', Mr de Groot said
"The New Bradfield Scheme will be a major new economic driver for Queensland, creating water security and protecting Queensland farmers against the devastating effects of drought."
The upside of the New Bradfield Scheme for Queensland is huge, delivering tens of thousands of new jobs and giving farmers the water they need to thrive.
Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the LNP was being "reckless" and "playing with farmers' expectations" in its bid to slash water prices.
"The government is already looking into this recommendation from the Queensland Competition Authority," Dr Lynham said.
"The difference between us and the LNP is that we will consult with customers - as per the QCA report."
He referred to the Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington talking about "forcing Sunwater into more efficiency".
"We know what efficiency is LNP code for in regional Queensland - cutting, sacking and selling," he said.
"And their plan to undertake a statewide water asset audit is just code for preparing those assets for sale."
Meanwhile, Dr Lynham said his goverment was delivering Queensland's plan for economic recovery and supporting our farmers in the face of the worldwide impacts of COVID-19.
"We are freezing irrigation prices for a year and absorbing dam safety costs," he said.
"On average, irrigators will be roughly $400 a year better off this year compared to last year."
Addressing the possibility of his government adopting a similiar Bradfield-style schemes, Dr Lynham said Labor's regional MPs had made it very clear it was a project regional Queenslanders were interested in seeing explored.
"It was the Premier who first called for the Federal Government on October 30 last year to work with her government on the Bradfield Scheme," he said.
"Any Bradfield-style scheme starts with water storage in the north - and that's underway.
"There's three business cases underway into major water infrastructure in the north - into raising Burdekin Falls Dam, into Hells Gate Dam and Big Rocks Weir."
He said Urannah Dam had also been declared a coordinated project by the Queensland Government to reduce red tape.
"The Queensland Government supports water infrastructure that stacks up economically and environmentally," he said.
"We have committed $848 million to water infrastructure across this state since 2017, delivering more than 1600 jobs to regional Queensland.
"Dams are major projects that need to deliver value for the taxpayer."