Rural water pricing for SunWater and Seqwater schemes
Rural water pricing for SunWater schemes
Rural irrigation price path (2012-2017)
SunWater is a government-owned corporation that owns and operates water supply schemes across regional Queensland. As the owner of SunWater’s assets, such as dams and weirs, the Queensland Government decides how much to recover of SunWater’s costs through irrigation prices.
SunWater's rural irrigation water prices are set for specific periods known as 'price paths'. On 1 July 2012, it was announced that the government had accepted the Queensland Competition Authority's (QCA) final report and recommendations for SunWater’s new five-year rural irrigation price path (2012–2017). To read the statement in full visit the Queensland Government media statements website.
The new price path commenced on 1 July 2012. SunWater was issued a direction notice under section 999 of the Water Act 2000 on 30 June 2012 to charge the prices in the Queensland Competition Authority’s final report. A copy of the direction can be found on page 816 of the Queensland Government gazette published on 13 July. SunWater has published the new charges for each scheme's price path on its website.
Rural water pricing for Seqwater schemes
Rural irrigation price path (2013–2017)
In addition to providing bulk water storage and treatment services to the South East Queensland Water Grid, Seqwater also provides bulk and distribution services to its irrigation customers.
The Queensland Competition Authority has been directed under Section 23 of the Queensland Competition Authority Act 1997 to recommend irrigation prices to apply to certain Seqwater water supply schemes from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2017. The Minister's Referral Notice is available for download (PDF)*.
On 21 December 2012, the QCA released its Draft Report on Seqwater’s irrigation prices 2013-2017. The QCA is required to provide a final report by 30 April 2013. The government encourages the continuation of the strong engagement of all stakeholders as the QCA process runs its course. More details about the process are available on the Queensland Competition Authority website.
The government will make the final decision on the new price path after it receives the QCA’s Final Report. It is anticipated that the new price path will be implemented from 1 July 2013.
Queensland Government review of local management of SunWater irrigation channels
On 5 July 2012, the Minister announced an investigation into the potential for local management arrangements in SunWater's distribution (channel) water services. A working group, including representatives from SunWater, irrigation peak bodies and local representatives, was established to undertake an initial Stage 1 investigation to establish the level of interest and possible management arrangements.
Following the announcement of the new irrigation price path on 1 July 2012 stakeholders raised concerns about the long term sustainability of the channels and the need to investigate the potential for local management arrangements to address this issue. Local management arrangements would place the channel schemes under ownership and operation of the local irrigators.
In October 2012, the working group reported that both SunWater and irrigators were committed to undertaking detailed investigation of local management options. The working group's communiqués to date and the working group's Stage 1 Report are available on SunWater's website.
Following due consideration, the government decided to proceed to the Stage 2 of the investigation where each of the eight channel schemes will establish interim boards including representatives of irrigators and two independent non-irrigator members. These boards will develop comprehensive business proposals for the transition of their schemes to local management. The interim boards will submit their business proposals in November 2013, for consideration by government in early 2014. To read the Minister's statement on this topic, visit the Queensland Government media statements website.
The Queensland Government delegated the responsibility for the development of an implementation plan for Stage 2 to the Director-General of the Department of Energy and Water Supply in consultation with an inter-agency group set up to provide advice on Stage 1 of the project. This plan describes the governance arrangements and high-level tasks for Stage 2. The plan has been approved by the Minister for Energy and Water Supply and the Treasurer. A copy of the Implementation Plan (PDF, 179K)* is available for download, however excerpts of timelines associated with key tasks described in the plan have been omitted because of updates to the project timelines.
The governance arrangements include the establishment of an independent project team, hosted by the Department of Energy and Water Supply, to manage the Stage 2 process. For more information including updated key tasks and new project timeframes visit www.lmairrigation.com.au.
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Last updated 18 April 2013