LNP Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett has slammed the Palaszczuk Labor Government for failing to provide certainty on electricity prices for Queensland farmers and irrigators.
“It’s good to see Labor has bowed to pressure from the LNP after we called for an extension to the tariff deadline in January,” Mr Perrett said.
“We called for the delay because it was obvious Labor didn’t have a plan.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government has once again failed to put an end to the crisis facing more than 14,800 customers* on existing obsolete farming and irrigation tariffs (T62, 65 and 66), which are set to be switched off.
“Today’s announcement to delay the inevitable simply kicks the issue into the long grass instead of providing farmers and industry with the certainty they have been calling for.
“Labor have strategically delayed the date on which farmers and businesses will receive massive electricity price increases until after the October 2020 election.
“The LNP understands how important water and electricity is to regional jobs.
“Through the LNP’s Agriculture Council, we continue to engage with key agricultural groups such as the Queensland Farmers’ Federation, CANEGROWERS, Cotton Australia, Growcom and AgForce to find industry-led solutions.”
Mr Perrett said the LNP has been calling for a complete overhaul and restructure of Queensland’s tariff structure designed to support our agricultural businesses and regional jobs.
“We are hearing loud and clear the industry doesn’t just need a single new ‘Agriculture tariff’ to solve its concerns,” Mr Perrett said.
“It needs a suite of new electricity tariffs that appropriately reflect the diverse needs of modern agricultural production in this state.
“The LNP has already committed to ending the divide between the southeast and the rest of regional Queensland by introducing competition into the retail electricity market which will see decreases in regional electricity prices.
“We will continue to fight for lower electricity prices cheaper water for Queensland agriculture.
“That is what’s needed to create jobs and provide job security in regional communities.”
*Obsolete and transitional tariff customer numbers: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2019/853-2019.pdf