LNP vows to tackle farm­land power pain

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.