Farmers demand power price answer
On behalf of Queensland’s farmers using irrigation, I am demanding an answer.
Why, in its draft determination on regional electricity prices, did the Queensland Competition Authority snub irrigators?
The QCA has recommended the tariffs that household and small business customers pay for power be reduced and CANEGROWERS does not begrudge them relief from high power prices at all – they are long overdue and very necessary.
But we fail to see why irrigators should be treated differently and left with prices that have risen 130% over the past decade, going up at a faster rate than the tariffs paid by other businesses.
The reasons that have been given by the QCA and the State Government for recommending cuts to some tariffs apply also to the electricity that irrigators use.
The decline in generation costs and decrease in network charges are just as relevant – it is the same electricity!
Irrigators who are growing food and fibre for Australian and export markets are entitled to at least the same electricity price relief that other small businesses are being offered.
There is time for this oversight to be fixed. We will be demanding that this discriminatory situation is corrected when the QCA’s final determination comes out in May.
2 March 2018