SunWater urges irrigators to attend water price meetings

04 Apr 2011

SunWater is encouraging Queensland irrigators to attend a series of public meetings that will help the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) determine irrigation water prices for the next five years.

A SunWater spokesperson said irrigators attending the meetings, arranged by the QCA as part of the water price path review process, will be able to find out more about the operational costs associated with SunWater’s delivery of bulk water across the State.

The spokesperson said the public meetings will enable irrigators to hear first hand from the six independent engineering and management cost auditors, engaged by the QCA as part of the review process, who found in general SunWater’s forecast operational costs are prudent and efficient.

“Irrigators attending the QCA meetings will also be able to discuss the detail of the 30 comprehensive network service plans that were compiled by SunWater for the QCA to show the costs associated with each of SunWater’s water supply schemes across Queensland,” the spokesperson said.

SunWater’s call to irrigators to attend the meetings comes after QFF released a media statement claiming the water company was operating inefficiently and water prices would rise dramatically across all schemes.

“We were surprised by the QFF’s statement claiming SunWater to be inefficient given their close involvement in the process to date has provided them full access to the independent auditors, whose reports show the complete opposite,” he said.

“Our forecast costs indicate that 17 of our 22 river schemes should see no price rises at all, however 7 of the 8 channel systems will require some price rises due to increases in general unavoidable operating costs, not as a result of any operational inefficiency. Any increase required is expected to be capped at around $2 per megalitre per annum.

“SunWater willingly opened up its books to ensure the QCA’s price path review was of the highest integrity and we have actively supported and rigorously participated in the review process to assist the QCA in its endeavor to arrive at a fair and reasonable pricing determination for all water stakeholders.

“We are confident that once irrigators have had the opportunity to see for themselves the auditors reports on our operational costs they will arrive at the same conclusion that SunWater is operating prudently and efficiently,” he said.

Details of the QCA meetings throughout regional Queensland are available www.qca.org.au.

 

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