The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has today commenced its investigation into irrigation prices for water supply schemes operated by SunWater and Seqwater for the next pricing period—1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024.
QCA Chair Professor Flavio Menezes said the QCA received a referral notice to investigate irrigation prices this week from the Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (the Treasurer), the Honourable Jackie Trad MP.
“Similar to the last review, the QCA will consider prudent and efficient costs for operations, maintenance, administration and renewals expenditure”, Professor Menezes said.
“The Treasurer has also directed the QCA to provide an additional pricing option that includes dam safety upgrade costs.”
Professor Menezes said the QCA understood how important the pricing review was to stakeholders.
“Consultation with irrigators, industry bodies and other relevant stakeholders will be a crucial element of the investigation and we want to encourage all interested parties to participate in the review,” Professor Menezes said.
The QCA may release targeted consultation papers to seek views on certain matters. At this stage, a paper to consult on issues related to dam safety upgrade costs has been published.
“There will be opportunities for stakeholders to comment on QCA consultation papers as well as the submissions provided by SunWater and Seqwater, and our draft decision.”
Professor Menezes said the QCA would conduct workshops in areas where there was sufficient interest from stakeholders, so it was vital that stakeholders register their intention to attend by visiting the QCA website.
“Stakeholders, including customers, can register at www.qca.org.au/IrrigationWorkshops for further information. They are also able to make initial submissions by 30 November 2018 to identify issues they think should be covered in this review at www.qca.org.au/Submissions.
In line with the referral notice, SunWater’s and Seqwater’s submissions on the review and proposed costs must be received by 30 November 2018.
The QCA will provide a draft report to both the Treasurer and the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy by 31 August 2019, and recommend final price paths by 31 January 2020.
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