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Department of Energy and Water Supply

Rural irrigation water pricing for SunWater and Seqwater schemes

Queensland Government sets the prices that SunWater and Seqwater charge to supply rural irrigation water in certain water supply schemes. The rural irrigation water price paths for SunWater and Seqwater were set until 30 June 2017, based on recommendations from the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA).

The government has set rural irrigation water prices until 30 June 2019 based on an extension of the price paths recommended by the QCA. This decision allows the local management reform of SunWater’s channel schemes to be prioritised before new price paths are set for the SunWater and Seqwater schemes.

2017–18 and 2018–19 prices

Prices for 2017–18 and 2018–19 are generally based on the price target the QCA recommended for each tariff group at its last review. These price targets are the minimum costs of supply, which include operating costs and asset maintenance costs, but exclude a commercial rate of return on pre-existing assets.

This means that, generally, for 2017–18 and 2018–19:

  • Where 2016–17 prices were at or above the QCA’s price target, the prices (fixed and volumetric) will increase annually by 2.5%.
  • Where 2016–17 prices were below the QCA’s price target, fixed prices will increase annually by $2 per megalitre (in real terms) plus 2.5%, and the volumetric prices will increase by 2.5%.

Rural irrigation prices for the two-year period of 2017–18 and 2018–19 have not been updated to reflect revised cost information from SunWater or Seqwater. Revised cost information will be obtained for the next price paths commencing 2019-20. The government is yet to determine the form and timing of future price reviews.

SunWater rural irrigation price path 2012–19

The current rural irrigation price path commenced on 1 July 2012 and has been extended by 2 years. It will apply until 30 June 2019.

Some of the prices for rural irrigation water supplied by SunWater do not recover the costs of supply. For tariff groups where prices do not recover the minimum cost of supply, SunWater receives state government funding through community service obligation (CSO) payments (administered by the department).

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SunWater local management arrangements

The government is currently progressing to local management arrangements (LMA) for 4 of the 8 SunWater channel irrigation schemes and is conducting ongoing investigations for the remaining 4 schemes. Seqwater's 2 distribution systems are not part of the LMA investigation process.

Seqwater rural irrigation price path 2014–19

The current Seqwater rural irrigation water price path was implemented on 1 January 2014. It has been extended by 2 years to apply until 30 June 2019.

Some of the prices for rural irrigation water supplied by Seqwater do not recover the costs of supply. For tariff groups where prices do not recover the minimum cost of supply, Seqwater receives state government funding through community service obligation (CSO) payments (administered by the department).

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Last updated:
13 December 2017
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