Cotton growers in Queensland, who have been facing continuous energy price increase over a considerable length of time welcoming the Queensland government's announcement of a $10 million regional business support package is a step in the right direction as part of its response to the Queensland Productivity Commission's Pricing Inquiry final report, but more needs to be done.
However, Cotton Australia â€“ the peak representative body for Queenslandâ€™s cotton growers argues the Queensland government could do more to guarantee lower energy costs for farmers as the issue of electricity pricing is critical.
The package allocated funding designed to allow energy users to better understand their energy usage and billing, which would theoretically allow users to adjust practices to minimise costs.
Included is funding for meters and impact trials for users to better understand the impact of bills under different tariff options, promotion of energy audit services, and a trial of co-contributions for business customers on transitional and obsolete tariffs to invest in operational changes and infrastructure.
They appreciate the government's efforts to help regional businesses transition from obsolete to cost-reflective tariffs.
However, while they acknowledge its support package will help users make better decisions, they have a legitimate concern that it will not reverse the long-term trend of persistent price increases.
They hope the government will allow user groups, including Cotton Australia, to play an effective role in developing how these programs are targeted and deployed.
It is critical the government work with farmers to help reduce the exorbitant and ever-increasing cost of electricity, and Cotton Australia is committed to working with legislators, regulators and growers to make this happen.
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