South Australian livestock producers will be relieved from high water prices thanks to a State Government commitment to reduce water costs.
From 1 July, businesses throughout SA will save an average of $1,350 per year on water bills.
Livestock SA CEO Andrew Curtis welcomed the State Government commitment, saying members have been calling for changes to water pricing in South Australia since 2013.
“This is an issue Livestock SA, together with the Coorong Water Security Advisory Group, has been pushing for a very long time,” he said.
“The commitment will ensure water costs are no longer a reason to force livestock producers to reduce livestock numbers, impacting their businesses and the state’s economy.”
For some producers, water costs tripled in five years, making it difficult to keep up with the increases despite good prices for beef, sheep and cropping.
“Producers have had to be very wary of any water leaks on-farm and have had to turn off meters when they were not in use, just to save money anywhere they could,” Mr Curtis said.
Livestock SA has provided and contributed to submissions to successive State Governments and the Essential Services Commission of South Australia outlining the case for a reduction in water prices.
“We have a been providing input into submissions surrounding the SA Water Pricing Inquiry arguing that SA Water’s regulated asset base was over-valued and inflating water prices, to ensure members voices are heard,” Mr Curtis said.
Livestock SA acknowledges the work the Minister for Environment and Water David Spiers has put toward this issue since he was Shadow Minister in 2017.
“On behalf of livestock producers, Livestock SA wishes to thank the Minister for his involved which has led to this price reduction,” Mr Curtis said.
South Australians living in the regions will also receive better water services, with a State Government commitment of $200 million to upgrade water supply for regional towns.