LNP vows to tackle farmland power pain
THE LNP has pledged to bring back its Agriculture Energy and Water Council if elected in a bid to give farmers a greater voice when trying to tackle crippling energy prices.
Opposition leader Tim Nicholls will today announce the pre- election commitment to develop further collaboration between the Queensland Farmers’ Federation, AgForce, Canegrowers and the LNP.
The LNP established the council in late 2014 when many farmers faced the prospect of electricity prices doubling in 2020 when “obsolete” tariffs ended. Mr Nicholls said relevant LNP shadow ministers would start working with farmers and the industry before an election was called.
“Farmers are facing astronomical electricity price rises due to poor policy decisions by this do- nothing Labor Government,” he said.
“This year alone electricity prices on farm and irrigation tariffs are increasing by up to 5.1 per cent – this is almost triple the rate of inflation.”
The council would also provide strategic oversight to existing government assistance packages for the agriculture industry and co- ordinate management of electricity.
Mr Nicholls said the council would bring farmers, ministers and Energy Queensland together to tackle critical issues such as tariff reform.
“Labor axed the council when it came to government but we will bring it back and make it bigger and better should we be elected,” he said.
“We want this council to begin now so that if we are elected we can hit the ground running.
“The agricultural industry can’t face electricity price increases of 50 to 100 per cent all by itself.
“The LNP will listen, plan and act on electricity prices.”
Opposition agriculture spokesman and Burdekin MP Dale Last said the new council would also look at water.”
“If we can sort out electricity and water then we can ensure every farming family has a future,” he said.