I know we are all busy and there’s always a million things to prioritise but if you’re a Sunwater allocation holder, or would like to be one in the future, I would urge you to prioritise understanding the current consultation occurring across Queensland before it’s too late to have your say. 

Sunwater is developing a pricing proposal to submit to the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) later this year. This proposal will inform prices for the period 1 July 2025 to 30 June 2029 in 26 price-regulated schemes for the next Irrigation Price Path. 

As someone who has been privy to Sunwater’s community consultation for some time now, I can honestly say this time is the most genuine consultation they’ve engaged in thus far. But like all engagement, the result is only the sum of the energy of the participants.  

Of course, as the horticultural industry state body we are heavily invested in this. And thanks to Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) who had long advocated for a stronger relationship, greater transparency, accountability, and a solutions-orientated delivery on water pricing in Queensland, we are meeting with Sunwater each month from March to November this year to oversee this engagement, as members of the Joint Consultative Committee. Members include: QFF, Cotton Australia, Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers and CANEGROWERS Queensland.  

We have spent time working through each proposal with the intent of asking every question we believe you would ask if you were in our shoes. We haven’t got the answers to all our questions but trust me when I say, nothing has been off limits. And nothing is off limits for you either. There is an opportunity with a time frame – please use it! Feedback can be directed straight to Sunwater or to any committee member.  

Given water is so vital to all horticulture, I urge you to at least be invested in the three main proposals. 

  1. The Sunwater proposed shift from an annuity-based approach to a RAB-based approach for renewals. 
  2. The Electricity cost pass through and;  
  3. The Service and Performance Plans Refresh (S&PP’s)  

Fact sheets along with an irrigation invoice calculator (for the annuity vs RAB approach) can be found easily on their website: www.sunwater.com.au/projects/price-path/consultation/