A final determination on Queensland electricity prices and tariffs for the coming financial year spells bad news for the state’s primary production sectors, the Queensland Farmers’ Federation said.
The Queensland Competition Authority recently released its final determination on regulated retail electricity prices.
QFF CEO Dan Galligan said the hikes being proposed would be a huge blow to Queensland’s $14-plus billion farming sector, and were a serious threat to the LNP’s plan to double food production by 2040.
Increases in network chargers for Ergon and Energex are estimated at 15.7 percent and 11.3 percent respectively.
“The QCA determination also shows that the carbon tax is going to have a very substantial and destructive impact on the profitability of the farm sector,” Mr Galligan said.
“The QCA says the carbon tax will increase the underlying cost of energy by 43 per cent for small customers. While electricity bills won’t increase by that amount, it shows the underlying pressure that the carbon tax will put on electricity bills.
“Industry continues to rebut the Federal Government’s assertion that farmers will be able to pass on costs down the value chain. It is a fantasy theory – farmers are price-takers, and this is a serious blow.”
Mr Galligan said the QCA had made an important acknowledgement of the value of some electricity tariffs, such as those that allow farmers to irrigate at night. Some of these tariffs, which were due to be axed, will be retained for a ‘transitional year’.
“However, costs are expected to increase by as much as 20 percent due to the above fundamental increases.
“Farmers on tariffs such as 63, 64 and larger customers on 41 and 43 will clearly be impacted negatively by these increases.
“The result will be a serious negative impact for regional communities.”