Time for Palaszczuk to 'get real' about farmers

Farmers tell Palaszczuk to 'get real' about electricity pricing

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Farmers say the Palaszczuk government needs to address crippling electricity costs associated with food production.

Farmers say the Palaszczuk government needs to address crippling electricity costs associated with food production.

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Farmers say the Palaszczuk government needs to address crippling electricity costs associated with food production.

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FARMERS say it is time for the Palaszczuk government to get real about backing farmers by addressing crippling irrigation electricity costs.

Canegrowers chief executive officer Dan Galligan said the coronavirus pandemic served as a stark reminder to governments and consumers alike about the importance of food supply chains.

"These supply chains start with farmers in paddocks working day by day to grow crops," Mr Galligan said.

"That's what they're doing now right across Queensland - continuing to work hard and produce food (and fibre) to feed (and clothe) us all.

"But many of them are doing this in a climate of crippling irrigation electricity costs. Costs that have risen 130 per cent over the past decade and continue to go up."

Mr Galligan said the announcement from the Queensland Government about power prices this week had provided farmers with no joy or relief.

The Queensland Competition Authority draft report to the Queensland Government proposed electricity price cuts of 5pc or more for household and small businesses.

On Tuesday, Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said regional Queenslanders were expected to see their biggest power bill cut in a decade, with prices set to fall for a typical household by $75, and small business by $116, from July 1, 2021.

"We understand that Queenslanders now are even more concerned about the cost of living and getting though this unprecedented coronavirus crisis," Dr Lynham said.

"Times are tough, but this will be the biggest bill reduction for typical regional households in more than a decade."

Under the Palaszczuk government's $4 billion COVID-19 relief package announced a week ago, Queensland households will automatically receive $200 rebate off their electricity bill to assist with their household utility costs for electricity and water.

"But there is nothing in the report that suggests there will be any relief from the costly tariffs most commonly used by farmers when pumping water for crops," Mr Galligan said.

"It's time for government to get real about supporting agriculture, including irrigated agriculture and they can do so by reducing the charges they control for electricity and water.

"Do the right thing by farmers across the state and ensure irrigators share in the foreshadowed electricity price cuts for regional Queensland."

MORE READING: 'Australia's largest windfarm set for Qld's Traprock region'.

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