BUDGET: Big water price hit forecast for Gympie Region
GYMPIE Region farmers and urban consumers will be hit by big water price increases in coming years, possibly starting with today's state budget, Gympie MP Tony Perrett has predicted.
Speaking in state parliament, Mr Perrett specifically mentioned big water cost increases for farmers using the Cedar Pocket Dam and Pie Creek irrigation schemes.
Mr Perrett referred to "significant increases in costings for dam improvement programs” and said passing on of these costs would mean consumer price increases of between $50 and $90 in South East Queensland over the next three years.
And he predicted a similar outcome for regional consumers in urban centres and ongoing increases for irrigation farmers.
He said the inclusioin of new dam safety and flood mitigation costs in money to be raised through "significant” water price increases would be bad news in the Gympie region.
"Cedar Pocket will need to experience $340 per megalitre water price increase to mneet what they call 'cost reflectivity'.
"The Pie Creek distribution scheme is also facing significant fixed cost increases,” Mr Perrett said.
Mr Perrett criticised state government pressure on bulk water provider, SunWater, to pay multi-million-dollar dividends this year.
Mr Perrett said the increases would probably mean substantial annual increases in bulk water costs.