Op­po­si­tion vows to set up coun­cil to tackle the big is­sues

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT

AN LNP gov­ern­ment would rein­tro­duce an Agri­cul­ture En­ergy and Wa­ter Coun­cil to help farm­ers tackle spi­ralling elec­tric­ity costs and wa­ter is­sues.

The State La­bor Gov­ern­ment abol­ished the ad­vi­sory coun­cil when it de­feated the pre­vi­ous LNP gov­ern­ment in early 2015. LNP agri­cul­ture spokesman Dale Last said yes- ter­day a Tim Ni­cholls- led gov­ern­ment would join forces with farm­ers and in­dus­try to ad­dress out- of- con­trol elec­tric­ity prices.

“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,” Mr Last said.

“It isn’t good enough and it’s why the Lib­eral Na­tional Party is es­tab­lish­ing the Agri­cul­ture En­ergy and Wa­ter Coun­cil.”

The pur­pose of the 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 gov­ern- ment as­sis­tance pack­ages for the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try; and co- or­di­nate man­age­ment of elec­tric­ity and wa­ter as key agri­cul­tural in­puts.

Mr Last said the coun­cil would bring farm­ers, min­is­ters and En­ergy Queens­land to the ta­ble to tackle crit­i­cal is­sues such as tar­iff re­form and spi­ralling prices.

“The LNP will estab­lish a new and im­proved coun­cil that will be ex­panded to in­clude the Queens­land Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion, AgForce and Cane­grow­ers,” Mr Last said.

“Through the coun­cil the LNP will also look at wa­ter is­sues, given the move­ment of wa­ter is a ma­jor source of elec­tric­ity use.

“If we can sort out elec­tric­ity and wa­ter then we can en­sure ev­ery farm­ing fam­ily has a fu­ture.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.