THE Palaszczuk government will increase electricity prices for irrigated agriculture by up to a staggering 5.1 per cent.
CANEGROWERS chief executive officer Dan Galligan said while the 5.1pc increase was better than the outrageous 10.3pc rise recommended in the Queensland Competition Authority’s (QCA) original determination, any rise to electricity prices for regional Queensland was indefensible.
Mr Galligan said the revised determination came after an intervention by the Palaszczuk government.
“In doing so the government has shown it can do something about power prices and it needs to do more,” Mr Galligan said.
“These unsustainably and unnecessarily high power prices will continue to strangle economic activity and destroy jobs across regional Queensland if unchecked.”
Mr Galligan said electricity prices for farmers who grow food and fibre for Australians and export markets have gone up more than 130pc since the pricing system changed nine years ago. Over the same period CPI has increased by just 21pc.
“The QCA announcement merely reduces the size of the pain and for some producers it delays the inevitable,” Mr Galligan said.
“Without a change, farmers will have to either get off the grid or go out of business.”