The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has ignored calls for genuine relief for farmers battling electricity price increases, according to the peak group for the state's cotton growers.
Cotton Australia General Manager, Michael Murray, says the QCA announced a 3.4% tariff reduction for small business, but at the same time froze other tariffs applicable to farmers at their current levels.
"The QCA has given small business a leg up, and that is certainly welcome. However, the unfortunately reality is that the QCA's lack of movement in other areas means irrigating farmers, including cotton growers, won't see any relief," Mr Murray says.
"In Cotton Australia’s submission to the QCA we argued that, in order to genuinely reduce electricity pricing, transitional and obsolete tariffs should have be reduced in line with standard business tariffs."
"Cotton Australia also argued that clear tariff comparisons should be made available on the bills of customers on transitional and obsolete tariffs."
"It is disappointing that the QCA acknowledged the merit of Cotton Australia's proposal in its report, and yet it has failed to translate into a recommendation that results in a genuine benefit for irrigating farmers."
"Therefore, we call on the Queensland Government to introduce our recommendation and direct providers to introduce tariff comparisons on electricity bills."
"It is also time for both the QCA and the Queensland Government to acknowledge that nothing has changed for irrigators, some of whom have seen electricity increases of more than 200% in the past decade, and take action to improve circumstances for farmers."
Cotton Australia is the peak representative body for Australia’s cotton growing industry.
Cotton Australia media contacts:
General Manager, Cotton Australia
0427 707 868
Communications Manager, Cotton Australia
0488 189 502