LNP pledges power payment for farmers
THE Liberal National Party says it will offer a helping hand to farmers and irrigators facing high electricity costs by providing an electricity rebate on obsolete and transitional tariffs.
LNP Leader Tim Nicholls says farmers cannot continue to battle soaring electricity costs on their own and that's why the LNP will introduce a "Food and Fibre Transition Payment” to primary producers on tariffs 62, 65 and 66.
"Only the LNP understands the cost squeeze facing primary producers,” Mr Nicholls said.
"The LNP will back Queensland farmers any day of the week as they work hard to produce food and fibre for our state.
"Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor have done nothing to help farmers and have instead blamed them for their energy use.
"Unlike Labor, the LNP's energy policy has always been based on affordability and security, not greenie ideology.
"We know that from July 1, 2020, some of these producers will face price increases of between 50 to 100 per cent for electricity.
"The LNP promises to provide a $1400 transition payment each year for up to three years to farmers and irrigators on obsolete and transitional tariffs 62, 65 and 66.”
LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Dale Last said the Food and Fibre Transition Payment would recognise farmers needed power price relief.
"We estimate there are 17,400 connections to tariffs 62, 65 and 66 on Queensland farms with 98 per cent of them classified as small customers using less than 100MWh per year of electricity,” Mr Last said.
"These farmers and irrigators need a hand to invest in smart meters, energy audits, energy-efficient technology or to just pay their rising power bills.
"This transition payment is just part of the LNP's plan to tackle rising electricity prices.
"We are also writing down the regulated asset base to reduce network charges by 11 per cent.
"The LNP will also increase competition in the wholesale electricity market by restructuring the government owned generators from two to three which will lower wholesale electricity prices by an average of 8.3 per cent.
"We'll also re-establish the Agriculture Energy and Water Council which was scrapped by Labor.
"The LNP's Agriculture Energy and Water Council has been welcomed by Queensland Farmers' Federation and Canegrowers.
"This is about giving farmers a seat at the table of tariff reform to ensure their voices are heard.”
The LNP's record in government on electricity reforms to support agriculture:
- Capped electricity price increases on transitional tariffs;
- Established the Agriculture Energy and Water Council that was actively addressing issues such as tariff reform to tackle spiralling prices;
- Opposed Federal Labor's Carbon Tax that nearly doubled the price of wholesale electricity in Queensland;
- Reduced wasteful expenditure on network infrastructure by $7 billion which would have increased electricity prices;
- Maintained the Uniform Tariff Policy to ensure regional Queenslanders don't pay more than those in south-east Queensland for electricity.