Breathing space for Queensland farmers

An electricity price cap will give Queensland farmers breathing space from unsustainably high electricity price hikes, with the State Government announcing yesterday that price rises for the coming financial year would be capped at 10% for farming and irrigation customers.

Queensland Farmers Federation CEO Dan Galligan said that the Queensland Competition Authority had determined last week that some electricity tariffs would rise by up to 20% for 2013-2014.

“This follows price rises that have been in the order of 200% over the last five years,” Mr Galligan said.

“Farmers have been facing significant year-on-year rises and the 20% rise was a serious threat to the viability of many of our energy-dependent intensive agricultural industries. We know that a 10% rise is still significant, but this reprieve is a very welcome move from the Newman Government, and is recognising the important economic contribution that agriculture makes to the State and regional economies.

“This will give the industry some breathing space, and it will give the government time to determine realistic, long-term options that can focus on long term solutions. QFF and our members will continue to work with the State Government on looking for and proposing solutions to this very complex policy area.

“The huge year-on-year rises have been very difficult for long-term business planning and have placed significant strain on some farming businesses, which have no ability to pass on increased costs such as electricity. The Government this week has demonstrated that it understands this and they should be commended for it, QFF will continue to work with them over the long term.”

For further information visit the QFF website.

5 Jan 2013