Affordable electricity pledge welcomed by Canegrowers

Electricity price review for farmers welcomed by cane growers

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LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has pledged to review electricity tariffs for farmers within 100 days of taking office should she be successful in the state election.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has pledged to review electricity tariffs for farmers within 100 days of taking office should she be successful in the state election.

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Agriculture specific power tariffs which the LNP has pledged to overhaul if successful at tomorrow's state election should not be confined to a demand-based structure if they are to deliver real savings.

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AGRICULTURE specific power tariffs which the LNP has pledged to overhaul if successful at tomorrow's state election should not be confined to a demand-based structure if they are to deliver real savings.

That's the view of the peak sugarcane grower's organisation, who say the Productivity Commission should take an unhindered look at whatever structure would deliver the cheapest prices for irrigators.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington this week revealed she would order the commission to design a new set of tariffs specifically for the agricutlure sector within 100 days of forming government.

"Within the first 100 day of forming government the LNP will task the Productivity Commission to develop a new set of modern and affordable agricultural tariffs to reduce the skyrocketing cost of electricity," Ms Frecklington said.

"The commission will overhaul the current system and introduce a new demand-based tariff structure that rewards productivity and efficiency."

Canegrowers CEO Dan Galligan said the LNP's commitment had given hope to irrigators that affordable electricity could be delivered.

However, he said to realise that objective, the commission should not be confined to working within a demand-based structure.

"Canegrowers analysis proves that most irrigated agriculture is on non-congested parts of the electricity network and that a range of tariffs designed to meet the specific demands of agriculture are plausible and workable," Mr Galligan said.

He said Canegrowers had been calling for prices for irrigators to be capped at 16c/kWh, which is what they would put forward to the review.

LNP agriculture spokesman Tony Perrett said the cheaper electricity for farmers would be in addition to slashing nearly 20 per cent off the price of water for Queensland's 5,000 Sunwater irrigation customers from 1 July 2021.

Mr Galligan said irrigation was the backbone of Queensland agriculture and supported 60 per cent of the state's $2 billion sugarcane crop.

"Canegrowers is ready to work with the next Queensland Government on an electricity pricing regime that supports agricultural production in the state and harvests the significant potential for growth and diversity in our industry," he said.

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