A TIM Nicholls-led LNP government would join forces with farmers and industry to address out of control electricity prices.
LNP opposition agriculture spokesman Dale Last said farmers could not grow their businesses or plan for the future when weighed down by crippling power prices.
“Farmers are facing astronomical electricity price rises due to poor policy decisions by this do-nothing Labor Government,” Mr Last said.
“This year alone electricity prices on farm and irrigation tariffs are increasing by up to 5.1 per cent. This is almost triple the rate of inflation.
“It isn’t good enough and it’s why the Liberal National Party is establishing the Agriculture Energy and Water Council.
Farmers are facing astronomical electricity price rises due to poor policy decisions.
“This council will bring farmers, Ministers and Energy Queensland to the table to tackle critical issues such as tariff reform and spiralling prices.
“The LNP set up the council in late 2014 as many farmers faced the prospect of electricity prices doubling in 2020 when the obsolete tariffs ended.
“Labor axed the council when it came to Government but we will bring it back and make it bigger and better should we be elected.”
Mr Last said it was disgraceful that Labor’s so called ‘energy minister’ blamed farmers recently for higher electricity prices. It’s a claim Palaszczuk government energy minister Mark Bailey refutes.
“Labor policy, such as loading $5 billion of debt onto power generators, has meant Queenslanders are paying more than ever to keep the lights on and the irrigation pumps going,” he said.
“One of the first things Labor did was to scrap our Agriculture Energy Council and because of Labor’s inaction, tariff reform has stalled and nearly three years has been wasted.
“The LNP will establish a new and improved council that will be expanded to include the Queensland Farmers’ Federation, AgForce and Canegrowers.
“Through the Council the LNP will also look at water issues, given the movement of water is a major source of electricity use.
“If we can sort out electricity and water than we can ensure every farming family has a future.”
The purpose of the Agriculture Energy and Water Council will be to:
- Develop further collaboration between Queensland Farmers’ Federation, AgForce, Canegrowers and the LNP to consider energy-related issues of the agriculture industry.
- Provide strategic oversight to existing Government assistance packages for the agriculture industry, which is facing substantial change and uncertainty in relation to electricity.
- Coordinate management of electricity and water as key agricultural inputs.
“We want this council to begin now so that if we are elected we can hit the ground running,” Mr Last said.
“The agricultural industry can’t face electricity price increases of 50-100pc all by itself. The LNP will listen, plan and act on electricity prices.”