NineSquared provided advice on options for fees and assessed the likely impact on demand for the use of stock routes in Queensland by the pastoral industry.
The review was undertaken to inform policy options for fees as part of the re-making the stock route regulation and was designed to form part of a future Regulatory Impact Assessment if required as part of the regulation making process.
Fees are charged for the travelling of large and small stock on the stock route network as well as the grazing of stock on the network which covers 72,000km of Queensland. These fees are set by regulation which was scheduled to be remade and was subject to regulatory review.
NineSquared provided an assessment of the current fees as well as evaluating several options for changing the level and structure of the fees charged for the use of the network. Options were evaluated against the likely revenue outcomes and the costs associated with the cost of managing and administering the network, the investment made in the network (primarily water facilities) as well as the taking into account the direct cost associated with graziers using the network for feed. To estimate the cost of use, a model was developed which used nation-wide data on rainfall, feed availability and the likely time to re-grow fodder to determine a drought adjusted value of the stock route fodder resource. Understanding how costs for the use of the network changed as conditions change, allows better decisions about how prices should be set to optimise access to what is a valuable community resource.