The Newman Government is delivering on its commitment to lower the cost of doing business, with irrigators set to save up to $120 a year by reading their own water meters.
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said the changes would apply to irrigators within ‘metered entitlement areas’ who take water directly from a bore or watercourse.
“The Newman Government promised at the election to support and grow agriculture as one Queensland’s four economic pillars,” Mr Cripps said.
“We are providing an opportunity to irrigators to save money by reading their own water meters.
“In October 2012, we began the process of handing the control of water meters used to measure supplemented water back into the hands of irrigators.
“So far the Department of Natural Resources and Mines has transferred its ownership of more than 5000 water meters to irrigators across Queensland.
“Under Labor, Queensland irrigators were charged for departmental workers to visit their properties to read their meters.”
Member for Burdekin Rosemary Menkens said she welcomed the pilot program taking place in the Bowen Groundwater Management area.
“A single meter reading costs irrigators $60 a read, with many irrigators owning more than one meter and some meters requiring two reads a year,” Mrs Menkens said.
“Self-reading of meters is a common sense approach for unsupplemented water resources, enabling irrigators to self-manage their water use and ensuring water security.
“We will see irrigators read their own meters from June, when the initiative will be rolled out across the rest of the state.”
Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Farmer’s Federation Dan Galligan said they welcomed the initiative.
“This pilot should reduce the costs of reading meters and encourage irrigators to manage their water use,” Mr Galligan said.
“QFF looks forward to this initiative being extended to other irrigation areas across the state administered by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.”
Mr Cripps said water meter readings could be provided to the department by using a new online service, which is also compatible with iPhones and Android smartphones.
“The online service is part of the Newman Government’s commitment to improving service delivery for the community, making it quick and easy to submit water meter readings through a user-friendly online service,” he said.
“Water users will simply supply their water meter reading to the department providing vital data to the department to ensure water security for all water users.
“Departmental officers will work directly with water users to ensure they understand how to read and report their water meter reading and will also audit the accuracy of meter readings provided by entitlement holders through an education and compliance program including analysis of data and on-site visits.”
Further information about the changes to the reading of water meters is available online at http://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/water/access/water-meters or by phoning 13 QGOV (13 7468).