The forum, Electricity Price Reform – A Common Approach, was held in Brisbane on August 20 and heard about the technical issues behind energy price increases and their impacts on the agriculture, manufacturing and household sectors.
Specialist energy economist Bruce Mountain (Carbon Market Economics) also detailed market drivers behind energy price rises over the past 10 years. Australian electricity prices are now among the highest in the world and are 4-5 times the price of similar countries. The expansion of the regulated asset base has been the key driver for price increases.
“Industry bodies across Australia are enormously concerned about this issue, and are working hard on finding solutions to manage it,” says Cotton Australia Policy Manager for Queensland and Water, Michael Murray.
“The forum brought together participants from industry bodies in agriculture and irrigation, business and community sectors to develop a coordinated effort and plan to introduce much-needed reform to arrest the alarming rise in energy prices.”
Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF) CEO Dan Galligan says farmers were particularly sensitive to energy cost increases because they had no ability to pass extra costs down the value chain.
"This forum was convened to find solutions to one of the biggest issues facing all businesses across the country - escalating energy prices, which have been rising rapidly in Queensland for more than a decade,” Mr Galligan says.
“Queensland intensive agricultural industries met in an Energy Forum organised by QFF to understand the detail of impacts on that particular sector, and today was about bringing together a broader sector base with both national and state focus.”
"Industry groups are urging State and Federal Governments to work with us on long term solutions to arrest these unfair energy price rises and implement a tariff scheme to address the requirements of farmers and other businesses."
Organisations that participated in forum included:
- Energy Users’ Association of Australia
- Carbon Market Economics
- Australian Food and Grocery Council
- Australian Council of Social Service
- QLD Council of Social Service
- The QLD Local Government Association
- Cotton Australia
- Queensland Farmers' Federation
- Ricegrowers' Association of Australia
- National Irrigators' Council
- Irrigation Australia Ltd
- Daley’s Water Service
- Bundaberg Regional Irrigators Group
- Coleambally Irrigation.
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