Lower Lockyer Valley

Past review

The Lower Lockyer Valley water supply scheme is located near the town of Lowood, in the Lockyer Valley.

The Lower Lockyer Valley water supply scheme has 171 bulk customers. Of these, there are 164 irrigators holding 11,118ML of medium priority interim water allocation. Major uses of irrigation include dairy, vegetable and forage crops.

The scheme was established in 1970 following construction of Atkinson Dam, an off-stream storage, predominantly supplied by diverted water from Buaraba Creek.

Water from Atkinson Dam is used to maintain water levels in irrigation supply weirs as well as releasing water to the Brightview Channel system and Buaraba Creek.

Under the Ministerial Direction, the QCA must recommend the appropriate regulatory arrangements, including price review triggers and other mechanisms, to manage the risks associated with identified allowable costs.

In the 2006-11 irrigation price review, the Lower Lockyer Valley water supply scheme Tier 2 group opted to retain the price cap arrangement in preference to a revenue cap.

In the 2011-13 interim price period, the price cap arrangement was continued. The Tier 2 group did not opt to take up a drought tariff option.

The QCA has released its final recommended prices for the Lower Lockyer Valley scheme for 2013-17. The Minister accepted the QCA’s recommendations.

Lower Lockyer Valley water charges

  2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Fixed ($/ML WAE) 28.98 31.76 34.65 37.67
Variable ($/ML Use) 22.25 22.80 23.37 ???

In the Lower Lockyer Valley water supply scheme, cost reflective volumetric charges are lower when compared to 2012-13.

To maintain revenues, the balance not recouped by volumetric charges is recovered by fixed charges which are higher than current levels.

As current revenues are below cost-reflective revenues, the QCA recommends price paths where fixed charges increase annually by $2 per ML (plus inflation) until cost-reflective levels are reached.

Volumetric charges are increased at inflation over the balance of the regulatory period.

This Seqwater water scheme review forms part of the review that the QCA undertook in 2012-13 for the Queensland Government: the Seqwater Irrigation Price Review 2013–17.

You can read more about the pricing review on our project home page.  You can also view the submissions for the water schemes that we received, the consultants’ reports and issues arising from face-to-face consultation with stakeholders.

We recommended a new irrigation price path, to apply from July 2013 to June 2017 – with prices moving in a direction that better reflect costs.

  • Key to the findings were the recovery of Seqwater’s costs and the smoothing of future price increases.
  • All Seqwater schemes will now have two-part tariffs consisting of a fixed (Part A) price per megalitre (ML) of nominal water allocation and a usage (Part B) price per ML of water use.
  • For the majority of schemes, our recommended prices result in increases to fixed prices and reductions in usage prices.