Farm­ers’ power costs ease

Wait­ing game to see ex­actly what the sav­ings will be from the govern­ment

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL UPDATE -

MONTO lucerne farmer Wayne Smith should have an ex­tra $5000 in the bank this year, af­ter the Fed­eral Govern­ment scrapped the car­bon tax a fort­night ago.

The 39-32 vote in favour of a car­bon tax ax­ing will mean a 5.1% rise in power costs from the last fi­nan­cial year, not 13.6% as was ad­vised by the Queens­land Com­pe­ti­tion Au­thor­ity be­fore this move.

For ir­ri­ga­tors the tar­iff 66 and 65 for time of use and tran­si­tional ir­ri­ga­tion will be hiked 10% in­stead of 15% from last year’s price.

“Power costs were com­pletely out-of-con­trol, so my word we are ex­cited this car­bon tax has gone away,” Mr Smith said.

But the sav­ings for the av­er­age house­hold still may not be in the realms of $550 a year as Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott promised when he launched the Lib­eral Party cam­paign last year.

The Cli­mate In­sti­tute chief ex­ec­u­tive John Con­nor said re­cent fig­ures from the En­ergy Sup­ply As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia sug­gest the sav­ings will to­tal be­tween $80 and $200.

But with some farm­ers in the North Bur­nett forking out up to $28,000 a quar­ter for power, Mr Smith be­lieved this devel­op­ment will still be much ap­pre­ci­ated.

In the fu­ture he said he hoped the govern­ment would fo­cus on en­cour­ag­ing in­no­va­tion and ef­fi­ciency to cut car­bon wastage.

“We are im­ple­ment­ing cen­tre piv­ots on our ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem, which will re­duce our power use by 40%,” he said.

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