Power costs add to stream of farm worries
The National Irrigators Council (NIC) wants to stop electricity price rises for farmers.
NIC chief executive Tom Chesson told a recent Senate inquiry that the rising electricity costs were “out of control” and only an overhaul of electricity sector regulations would stop them.
“It will actually take an effort by state and federal governments to get together and say ‘enough is enough’,” he said.
“We need major root and branch reform so that our industries can get on and do what they do best and that's providing jobs and export income for this country.”
South Australia’s Central Irrigation Trust has seen the power bill for one of its pumping stations rise from $778,000 in 2010 to $1.3 million in 2015.
Central Irrigation Trust chief executive Gavin McMahon said dealings between the water and electricity industries sometime met resistance.
“The technical side of the business, and where there are interactions between our business and SA Power Networks, have been very good,” he said.
“However, when you want to talk to them about prices, price increases or their method of gathering data and engagement, it's a different story and we find it a very frustrating process.”
The ongoing inquiry will continue to look at ways of boosting the performance and management of electricity networks and reducing rising electricity costs.