Key issue EL Current situation EC TR I CI ty pr ic es IN VE S TI N G SK IL LS & IN IN RE G IO NA L PL Year-on-year electricity prices of 10 percent and more are seriously impinging the profitability and productivity of the intensive farm industries of Queensland. Farmers’ power bills are now two to three times greater than just a few years ago, which is impacting our international competitiveness and is a barrier to the Government’s aim of doubling the value of production by 2040. A multi-faceted approach to electricity prices and efficiency is required. This includes: efficiency, pricing arrangements, tariff solutions and policy. Successful negotiations with DAFF Queensland and Ergon Energy on an extensive project that will see Ergon conduct rural industry energy audits with a view to helping industry improve its energy efficiency in the face of increasing electricity costs. More work is needed across the myriad of policy issues. The DAFF Queensland and Biosecurity Queensland budgets have deterioirated over successive years, seeing an overall decline in services and doubts over the ability of these agencies to deliver proactive policies and respond to crises. QFF seeks a 5 percent per annum increase in the DAFF Queensland and Biosecurity Queensland budgets. this would arrest the decline in services, give confidence in BQ’s ability to respond to natural disasters, and help DAFF Queensland be a proactive force. Governments must invest in cooperative programs with industry. Industry-led programs continue to set a benchmark for achievements and delivery and must be a policy centrepiece for the new government. A shortage of both skilled and unskilled workers in rural areas is impacting farmers’ ability to efficiently run their farms and has creates uncertainty regarding the future generation of farmers. The Government is partnering with indsutry on the Queensland Ag Training Partnership through the Department of Eduction, Training and Employment. QFF is seeking a commitment that the outcomes of this work will create a path forward for agricultural skills and training and set a path forward for addressing the skills shortage in agriculture. AG TR A IN AN G NI NG Response needed Landholders must be supported in their dealings with resource companies so that negotiations between the parties are on an equal basis. Education and extension programs are required on landholder rights and processes for reaching agreement on land use, access and compensation. An information delivery and support program is required for current and any new legislation affecting access to and use of natural resources. The government must deliver a clear program that communicates these changes to landholders. The coming government must clearly articulate to landholders how the changes under the Regional Planning Interests Act affect them. An information delivery program is required for this Bill and other complex legislation, specifically the Mineral and Resources Bill and the Water Reform and Other Legislation Ammendment Bill. The government must deliver on a clear program of work that communicates these changes to landholders.
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