Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps
Water Charge Relief For Flood-Affected Irrigators
Victor P Taffa
Flood-affected irrigators could save more than $400 after the Newman Government waived and deferred water-related charges in areas declared under ‘natural disaster arrangements.’
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, said the Government was taking practical steps to help irrigators recover from the devastating Queensland floods.
“The annual water licence fee of $66.80 will be waived for water licences in areas declared eligible under ‘Category C natural disaster arrangements’ for 2013.” Mr. Cripps said.
“Water charges will also be waived for irrigators in areas declared under ‘natural disaster arrangements’ with entitlements to take water from watercourses where water charges have not yet been issued.”
“The minimum value of these water charges is $121.60 or higher depending on water use. Water charges will be waived in the Coastal Burnett, Border Rivers, Callide Valley, Cressbrook Creek and Upper Hodgson Creek areas.”
Mr. Cripps said charges to read water meters in disaster-declared areas under ‘Category C natural disaster arrangements’ will also be waived for a 12-month period and the invoicing for water use meter chargers will be deferred until 1 July 2013.
“The waiving of these fees and delaying the issuing of invoices is in recognition of the difficult financial circumstances facing many irrigators, and will assist in their financial recovery. This could represent combined savings of more than $400 for many landholders.” Mr. Cripps said.
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines is in the process of contacting water licence holders with metered entitlements in natural-disaster declared areas to inform them of the waiving of these water-related charges.
Mr. Cripps reminded irrigators that they must still comply with the provisions of their water licence or entitlement, despite the waiving of water-related fees and charges.
Water harvesting charges will also remain in place, as floodwater is often harvested by irrigators for reuse at a later time.