LNP's pledge to farmers
STRUGGLING Bundaberg farmers crippled by soaring power prices will be paid $1400 a year to reduce their electricity bills under a $75 million pledge from the LNP.
But questions over how the party will pay for the promise remain unanswered.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls arrived at Greensill Farming Group at Bundaberg yesterday to announce the LNP's Food and Fibre Transition Payment, which is a $1400 payment each year for up to three years to farmers and irrigators on tariffs 62, 65 and 66, set to be phased out in 2020.
Mr Nicholls said the payments would be made per connection, meaning some farmers may receive multiple payments.
The LNP estimates there are 17,400 connections to tariffs 62, 65 and 66.
Peter Greensill, who owns five farms across the Bundaberg region, would benefit greatly from the initiative.
"I'd say the last 10 years, the acceleration of the electricity price increase is unsustainable across all industries that we're a part of,” he said.
"For us to maintain our international competitiveness we need to make some changes before we get left behind.”
Burnett MP Stephen Bennett said farmers would be able to use the payments on measures they saw fit such as smart meters, energy audits or just to pay off their power bills.
"We have been calling for action on this for some time. Farmers deserve it,” Mr Bennett said.
Bundaberg Canegrowers chairman Allan Dingle welcomed the policy.
"Any announcement that's going to reduce electricity prices for irrigators and agriculture is very welcome,” Mr Dingle said.
"I think what we know today is that any future government actually can make changes to benefit electricity users.”
When questioned how the LNP plan on paying for this commitment, Mr Nicholls said voters would have to wait until the final week of campaigning to find out but said all commitments had been fully costed.