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The Queensland Government has announced that it is extending the 15 per cent irrigator discount until 2024–25, easing costs and supply chain pressures for Wide Bay Burnett irrigators. 

In the Queensland Budget $22.8 million was allocated to extend the discount another year. The discount is automatically applied to irrigators in Sunwater and Seqwater schemes.

Agriculture is one of Queensland’s most important industries, both in terms of jobs and value to the economy. Keeping irrigation prices down is part of the State Government’s commitment to regional economic development and to irrigators.

On top of the irrigation discount, the State Government has also delivered a 35 per cent horticulture rebate, which drives the cost of irrigation down even further for growers.

Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said this discount is slashing the cost of water for irrigators.

“On the back of supply chain pressures over the past few years, the Queensland Government is really delivering for the irrigators of the Wide Bay Burnett.

“The State Government is reducing costs to help irrigators maximise yield and farm capacity – in the long-term this means more jobs and more money spent locally.”

Member for Bundaberg, Tom Smith, said, “Agriculture is the backbone of our local economy, and these measures are helping manage costs at a crucial time when supply chain issues, labour shortages and everyday cost-of-living pressures are adding to the burden of doing business.”

Akers Farm Owner, Dean Akers, was glad to hear the discount has been extended for another year.

“Every dollar back in the pockets of local growers like myself, can be put back into other areas of the business to maximise the yield.”

As at 31 March 2023, $1.35 million through the Horticulture Irrigation Pricing Rebate Scheme (administered by QRIDA) had been paid to eligible Wide Bay Burnett horticulture producers, including avocado, macadamia and sweet potato growers.

Horticulture growers will have until the end of 2024 to apply for the horticulture rebate for water used up to 30 June 2024.

The 35 per cent horticulture rebate is an additional measure on top of the 15 per cent irrigation price discount.

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