THE LIBERAL NATIONAL Party (LNP) has announced that it is re-establishing an Agriculture Energy and Water Council to improve collaboration between industry, government and government-owned corporations (GOCs) in considering energy-related issues that impact agriculture.
The Council will consist of representatives from the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF), QFF industry member CANEGROWERS, AgForce and relevant LNP shadow ministers; and Energy Queensland if the LNP is elected.
QFF President Stuart Armitage (pictured) welcomed the LNP’s announcement and commended it for willingness to work alongside industry to address unsustainable and unjustifiable electricity prices.
“QFF and industry members have been very vocal on the need for government to address spiraling electricity prices and have been providing considered options that could improve the situation.”
“We have also been strongly advocating for the need to properly consider the synergy to water efficiency – the energy/water nexus. This forum has the potential to address both these issues.”
“It is a good initiative and we look forward to being involved, but the Council must deliver real outcomes in the form of lower electricity costs for all regional businesses. The worst outcome would be for this to become yet another talkfest that provides no relief for Queensland farmers.”
The purpose of the LNP’s 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
- Co-ordinate management of electricity and water as key agricultural inputs.
- “The time for talk, excuses and inaction on electricity is over. The upcoming election provides an opportunity for both sides of politics to clearly put forward their position for Queensland’s electricity system.”
- Details on the LNP’s Agriculture Energy and Water Council can be found at: http://www.betterqueensland.org.au/agcouncil
New push on power costs welcome
CANEGROWERS has welcomed the Liberal National Party’s renewed commitment to work on addressing spiralling electricity and water costs in Queensland.
“Since the electricity pricing system changed nine years ago, our cane farming members have seen their power costs go up 130 per cent,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan (pictured) said.
“No matter how efficient you are, how much you invest in new irrigation technology and equipment, no business can remain viable while wearing this sort of ongoing impost.”
CANEGROWERS is pleased to be invited to join the LNP’s Agriculture Energy and Water Council along with the Queensland Farmers’ Federation and AgForce.
“We have a body of research and investigation to contribute to the Council along with the very real experiences of our members struggling to remain profitable as their electricity costs rise.
“We don’t need assistance – we need the electricity pricing system to be overhauled to make it truly cost-reflective,” Mr Galligan said. “All of Queensland will benefit from this.
“To be effective, this re-established Council will have to do more than discuss and deliberate, it must come up with solid recommendations which can be turned into action by an LNP government, should Queensland have one after the next election.”