National Farmers' Federation

Farmers call time on energy policy consternation

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is imploring Federal and State Energy Ministers to meet tomorrow with a genuine appetite to fix the national electricity market (NEM).
“Consumers including farmers, demand an end to the political and policy stalemate hampering the development of a national energy policy,” NFF President Fiona Simson said. 
“The farm sector is clear on what we need. We require a focus on ensuring energy affordability and restoring the international competitiveness of the entire agricultural supply chain.
“Currently,  farmers and the agriculture supply chain are suffering from spiraling upward electricity prices and in some cases, power insecurity.
“For the sector to continue to compete on the world stage and to grow its contribution to our national economy, we must have energy policy certainty.”
Ms Simson urged Ministers to, at the Council of Australian Governments’ meeting in Melbourne tomorrow, provide the Federal Government with their endorsement to continue to develop its proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG).
The NFF is calling for a national energy policy that delivers energy affordability, reliability and reduced emissions.
“The NEG proposes a technology-neutral approach while retaining a commitment to reducing emissions.
“This will allow energy sources to compete on their own merits and, ultimately, the most economic, reliable, and emissions-efficient technologies will rise to the top.”
While supporting the NEG’s commitment to reduced-emission energy, Ms Simson emphasised the farm sector’s requirements for affordability and reliability.
“We must ensure the benefit of the downward power price pressure is enjoyed by consumers not gouged by the concentrated, vertically-integrated  retail and generation sectors.
“And, our national energy mix must not introduce intermittent generation at the expense of reliability. The farm sector cannot afford for their power supply to be interrupted by, for example, extreme weather.
Ms Simson said the time for politicking and consternation was over.
“The moment for action is now.
“At tomorrow’s COAG meeting, Ministers must agree on a path forward for the development of a national energy policy and NEM reform.
“The nation waits in anticipation for an end to the blackout on energy policy certainty,” Ms Simson said.

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