More than 18,000 Queensland businesses affected by natural disasters have been exempted from annual water license fees to help them get back on their feet.
Water Minister Glenn Butcher said approximately $ 1.5 million in water fees were exempted for the 2020-21 financial year in areas declared drought and disaster.
“In the wake of the former tropical cyclone Niran, and as 67 percent of Queensland continues to be drought, our farmers are being tough,” said Butcher.
“As the Palaszczuk government provides Queensland’s plan for economic recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic, we will need our traditional strengths such as agriculture.
“That’s why we’re helping 1000 farms rebuild after the former tropical cyclone Niran, giving up about $ 90,000 in water fees across the affected region for water year 2021-22.
“From March 1, 2021, more than 17,000 businesses in parts of the state declared drought will also be exempt from annual water license fees in the financial year 2021-22.
“With an additional 70 applications for national titles or licenses included in the fee waivers, we are hedging approximately $ 1.4 million to help recover from the Queensland drought.
“The drought continues to severely impact our state’s agricultural producers and Queensland’s regional development and the Palaszczuk government will continue to support the industry to survive and thrive.”
Butcher said this support adds to the discounts already announced for sprinklers across Queensland.
“These waivers are based on our electoral pledge to offer a 15% reduction in irrigation water tariffs for farmers and a 50% decrease in irrigation water tariffs for fruit and vegetable growers, where the Queensland government sets the prices.
“The discounts will start in the financial year 2021-22 and will be applied for three years, until the end of the financial year 2023-24.
“We are doing this because the Palaszczuk government knows that a strong agricultural industry means a strong Queensland economy.”
Affected water license holders will be notified of the fee waivers in a letter when they would normally receive the water license fee invoice.