Labor abolished the Agriculture Energy Council established by the LNP to bring industry and government together to work cooperatively to address rising electricity prices. Labor has done nothing to tackle rising electricity costs hurting Queensland farmers. The agriculture sector is facing double-digit, year-on-year increases in electricity prices. In 2020, thousands of farmers will be facing increases of 50% to 100%. Farmers can’t grow their business or plan for the future when they are being weighed down by rising electricity costs.
Labor is not listening to farmers who are struggling with skyrocketing electricity prices. In fact Labor are blaming farmers for higher electricity costs.
In 2014, the LNP established the Agriculture Energy Council under a Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Queensland represented through the Agriculture Minister and Minister for Energy and Water, Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) and AgForce.
The purpose of the Council was to improve collaboration between QFF and its members, AgForce, Ergon and the Queensland Government in considering energy-related issues for the agriculture industry. The Council also provided strategic oversight and direction to the Irrigators Energy Savers Project and Energy Savers PLUS program.
The Irrigators Energy Savers Project involved energy audits on Queensland farms to find efficiencies that can could lower power bills. Case study farms identified savings of 10%-70%, with most in the 20%-40% range.
The program was then expanded to target all intensive energy users in the agriculture sector, not just irrigators, known as the Energy Saver Plus program.
OUR REAL PLAN
A Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will establish the Agriculture Energy and Water Council with Queensland Farmers’ Federation, AgForce, Canegrowers and the relevant LNP shadow ministers. The remit of the Council will also be extended to water use, given water allocations and the movement of water have a significant impact on electricity use.
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, and
- Coordinate management of electricity and water as key agricultural inputs.
The agricultural industry can’t face electricity price increases of 50%-100% all by itself. The LNP will listen, plan and act on electricity prices.