FLOOD-affected irrigators could save more than $400 as the Queensland Government waives and defers water-related charges.Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said the Government was taking practical steps to help irrigators recover from the devastating Queensland floods.
"The annual water licence fee of $66.80 will be waived for water licences in areas declared eligible under Category C natural disaster arrangements for 2013,'' he said.
"Water charges will also be waived for irrigators in areas declared under natural disaster arrangements with entitlements to take water from watercourses where water charges have not yet been issued.
"The minimum value of these water charges is $121.60 or higher depending on water use. Water charges will be waived in the Coastal Burnett, Border Rivers, Callide Valley, Cressbrook Creek and Upper Hodgson Creek areas.''
Mr Cripps said charges to read water meters in disaster-declared areas under Category C natural disaster arrangements would also be waived 12 months and invoicing for water-use-metre chargers would be deferred until July 1.
"The waiving of these fees and delaying the issuing of invoices is in recognition of the difficult financial circumstances facing many irrigators, and will assist in their financial recovery,'' Mr Cripps said.
"This could represent combined savings of more than $400 for many landholders.''
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines is in the process of contacting water licence holders with metered entitlements in natural-disaster declared areas to inform them of the waiving of these water-related charges.
Queensland peak horticulture body Growcom welcomed the move.
"We are pleased to see that government has deferred the impost of water charges while cash-strapped growers are dealing with the costs associated with the recovery,'' chief executive Alex Livingstone said.
An up-to-date list of assistance available to horticulture growers is on the Growcom website on growcom.com.au