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Electricity

  • Wholesale prices in the Australian National Electricity Market have climbed significantly in recent years. Queensland recorded their second-highest electricity prices on record in 2019. 
  • Over the past nine years, electricity costs have risen more than 130% in Queensland, threatening farm productivity and competitiveness.
Source: Australian Energy Market Operator (PDF), Canegrowers Australia

What's the issue?

Farmers need affordable, reliable and secure electricity. Rising costs have put downward pressure on farmers’ margins and challenge enterprise profitability. This constrains irrigated agriculture production, as compromises are made between water use and energy costs.

Why does it matter?

High energy costs are hurting farmers and cut into their bottom line, making it more difficult to grow food and fibre. Historically, agricultural productivity has increased in line with the energy inputs available. But recently, rising electricity prices are negatively impacting on our agricultural productivity.

What's the solution?

Farmers need support in financing improvements in on-farm energy efficiency, self-sufficiency in generation and storage capacity. They also need adequate competition at the retail level, particularly in regional areas. Electricity tariffs need to be set transparently and fairly and be tailored to suit the needs of farmers.


"Electricity is a big bill every quarter. Ergon is our only supplier out here, we don’t get any choice at all. We’re hit with a fairly hefty tariff as well."
James
Wongle, Meandarra

"My bank manager calls me a climate change farmer because I’ve got all the latest technology. But over the past 50 years I’ve seen a terrible decline in rural facilitates due to all sorts of changes. Whoever is in government needs to think about making a long-term commitment to those in the bush."
Neal
Wowan

Here's how it can be

Less carbon emissions

With good electricity policy reform, farmers can have access to affordable and reliable electricity. Thanks to better on-farm energy efficiency and generation, farmers can also be less reliant on fossil fuels. 

Water efficiencies

Better electricity means better irrigation systems, resulting in less water usage, a vital benefit for all who are in drought.

Stand up for regional Queensland

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