The announcement by the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) that electricity prices for irrigated agriculture will increase by up to 5.1% will do nothing to allay the fears of farmers who are seeing their livelihoods slowly eaten away by rising power prices.
While the 5.1% increase is better than the outrageous 10.3% rise recommended in the QCA’s original determination, CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said any rise to electricity prices for regional Queensland is indefensible.
“Let’s be clear, this is not a price cut by the QCA,” Mr Galligan said.
“It is merely a smaller increase to power prices that are already horrendously high.
“The revised determination comes after an intervention by the Queensland Government and in doing so the Government has shown it can do something about power prices and it needs to do more.
“These unsustainably and unnecessarily high power prices will continue to strangle economic activity and destroy jobs across regional Queensland if unchecked.”
Electricity prices for farmers who grow food and fibre for Australians and export markets have gone up more than 130% since the pricing system changed nine years ago.
Over the same period CPI has increased by just 21%.
“The QCA announcement merely reduces the size of the pain and for some producers it delays the inevitable,” Mr Galligan said.
“Without a change, farmers will have to either get off the grid or go out of business!”