Tablelands irrigators in Queensland have benefited from the State Government’s 35 per cent horticulture rebate, having claimed almost $1 million since the scheme was introduced in July 2021.

Since 30 September 2023, more than 290 applications have been received so far from Tablelands irrigators who are supplied by Sunwater’s Mareeba-Dimbulah River and Mareeba-Dimbulah Channel schemes.

The horticulture rebate offers an additional 35 per cent discount to growers, on top of the 15 per cent irrigation price discount which is automatically applied to irrigation bills.

Irrigated agriculture is one of the Tablelands’ most important industries, providing significant employment and value to the regional economy. The Tablelands is also one of Queensland’s major food bowl regions.

The Queensland Government has said that keeping irrigation prices down is part of its commitment to driving down costs for businesses and delivering cost of living relief for Queenslanders.

On 30 September, 2023, almost 1,000 applications for the horticulture rebate had been received, delivering $4.2 million in horticulture rebates to irrigators state-wide.

The rebate is being managed by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA).

Irrigators have until the end of 2024 to apply for the rebate, which will expire on June 30 2024.

Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said that the State Government is always delivering for Queenslanders when it comes to tackling cost-of-living and the cost of doing business– and that this rebate is an important measure for growers on the Tablelands.

“Tablelands produce is enjoyed across Australia and around the world and we owe it to our growers to reduce costs where we can because we know this helps drive productivity and jobs growth,” Mr Butcher said. 

“Our irrigation price rebates are one of the many measures implemented by the Queensland Government to tackle the cost of living in regional communities.

“I encourage all eligible horticulture irrigators in the Tablelands to get your rebate applications in – we want to spread this important relief measure to as many farms and communities as possible.”

Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, said that some of Australia’s best, freshest produce is grown in the Tablelands and that these rebates show that the government is delivering cost of living relief for everyone in the community, including irrigators.

“This rebate is helping growers manage costs when supply chain issues, labour shortages and the everyday pressures are adding to the burden of doing business,” Ms Lui said. 

Rocky Creek Orchards owner, Lawrence Masasso, said, “The rebate has delivered meaningful financial help at a time when cost-of-living pressures are making things harder. The best part is that it’s not overly complicated with paperwork or bureaucracy – very simple and easy to manage.”

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