Queensland farmers and businesses will now have an extra 12 months to transition to standard electricity tariffs following continued advocacy from the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) and industry members.
The State Government has extended the deadline for the more than 30,000 small and large customers in regional Queensland currently on transitional and obsolete tariffs to 30 June 2021.
QFF President Stuart Armitage welcomed the government’s decision to extend the deadline but noted the extension only applied to customers on the Ergon network and called on the government to include all Queensland farmers and businesses.
“The government has failed to consider the many farmers and businesses operating in south east Queensland who will be unfairly disadvantaged because they are on the Energex network and therefore unable to access this extension,” Mr Armitage said.
“For farmers, this is yet another frustration in a process that has continually caused anguish with a lack of clarity on what tariffs would be suitable for irrigation and other agricultural-specific operations, and the significant bill increases some farmers will face when moving to standard business demand-based tariffs.”
“After remedying this disappointing omission, the government must use this additional time to develop a suite of suitable tariffs and a genuine transition program for farmers required to move to standard business demand-based tariffs.”
“If action is not taken, unsustainable electricity price increases and lagging productivity will result in more expensive food, fibre and foliage and a further loss of the international competitiveness of Queensland’s farmers.”