News

Cost of electricity hurting farmers

SAVE OUR SUGAR: Farmer Dean Cayley is appalled by ERGON's high power bills. Photo: Simon Young / NewsMail
SAVE OUR SUGAR: Farmer Dean Cayley is appalled by ERGON's high power bills. Photo: Simon Young / NewsMail Simon Young

BUNDABERG farmers are calling for federal candidates to make electricity costs a key focus of their campaign, fearing rising power bills will force growers off the land as the industry becomes unviable.

Bundaberg Regional Irrigators Group (BRIG) manager Dale Holliss said one of the biggest issues facing Bundaberg's farmers this election was the cost of electricity.

"We need cheaper electricity now. It is as simple as that," he said.

Mr Holliss said in seven years Australia has gone from having the cheapest electricity in the world to the highest.

"Unsustainable electricity prices are forcing irrigators to switch off electric pumps," he said.

"This in turn is leading to a massive slump in productivity.

"The reality is that most farmers are now very worried. Worried about how they are going to pay their bills because of the escalating cost of inputs such as electricity."

Third generation Alloway cane grower Dean Cayley said in the past two years his bills had almost doubled and, if the trend continued, he feared pumping water will become unviable, hurting the entire community.

"Dry farming is less profitable and means less money spent in town - it will have a roll on effect," he said.

"I don't know how a young fellow buying a farm would make any money."

With this quarter's bill at $14,000, Mr Cayley fears the next two quarters will be even higher.

"In the October -December quarter last year we had a $22,000 bill and we irrigated for 40 of the 90 days," he said.

"If we get a dry spell it's going to be really nasty."

BRIG has called on all party's to commit to a food and fibre tariff on which primary producers pay no network charges, abolish the carbon tax and abolish the renewable energy target increase to 20% by 2020 to reduce electricity prices.

Liberal candidate Keith Pitt and Labor candidate Leanne Donaldson have committed to abolishing the carbon tax but Labor has committed to keeping the RET; Mr Pitt said his party would review the target in 2015.

Independent candidate Reid Schirmer, Family First's Troy Sullivan, Palmer United Party's Rob Messenger and Katter's David Dalgleish have supported any moves to reduce electricity prices.

Greens candidate Mark Simpson said the Greens would fund $100 million worth of grants to energy-intensive farms but believes the carbon tax and the RET were vital.

Topics:  cane farmer electricity bills federal election 2013



Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Is Brisbane the new arts and culture capital?

Check out GOMA's latest exhibition - it's all about hair! GOMA 10 Ambassador Patience Hodgson visits Nervescape V 2016 by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (aka Shoplifter), commissioned for ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. 
Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

THE rest of the world should be envious of this line-up!

Oops! Car flattens Bundy street light

LIGHTS OUT: A car crashed into a light pole on Mount Perry Rd, North Bundaberg.

Police, fire and ambulance crews attended the scene

Small slices of Bargara set to hit the market

PROGRESS: Operational works for a 28-lot subdivision along Bargara Rd have been lodged with the council.

Some blocks will have direct golf course access

End of an era as Prince of Penzance retires

PRINCE: Bruce, Joe and Jonathan Dalton with Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne. The late Joe Dalton said, "it was kind of disbelief at first then it sunk in with all the screaming and yelling”.

"There are more important things than horses right now.”

Local Partners

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

WOULD you ever carry your baby and a semi-automatic gun to the shops?

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Selling Houses renovate for Salvos in 100th episode

Charlie Albone, Andrew Winter and Shaynna Blaze return for season 10 of Selling Houses Australia. Supplied by Foxtel.

Selling Houses launch 10th season in volatile property market

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

Bryce says goodbye to Bundy and Trace

SPLITTING UP: Bryce Ruthven is Sydney-bound after two years of presenting Hitz939's breakfast show with Tracey Sergiacomi.

Host leaving breakfast show for job in Sydney

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!