Energy is likely to be a hot topic of discussion when COAG (the Council of Australian Governments) meets this Friday, August 10. The Premier, Daniel Andrews, will represent Victoria at the meeting, with recent media reports suggesting it is unclear if the Victorian Cabinet will support the NEG (National Energy Guarantee).
We shall leave the national argy-bargy aside but when the Premier arrives home, he may want to spend some time articulating what his plan is for Victoria’s energy future.
We are only 15 weeks away from the 2018 State Election and the Victorian Farmers Federation is still desperately searching for a candidate or party with a long-term energy plan, and one that recognises the important role agriculture plays as a key contributor to the Victorian economy.
Victorian farmers need energy. The reliability, availability and cost of energy have a significant impact on agriculture and our farm businesses.
As a dairy farmer, when the power goes out, not only do the lights go out but the milk goes down the drain, costing thousands of dollars. In several animals industries, blackouts can also result in negative animal welfare outcomes, which is something farmers want to avoid at all costs.
We need a secure energy future that includes affordable pricing and reliable service for the state of Victoria.
Our dairy operations are also currently constrained by Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) power infrastructure. We need more skilled electrical contractors who can work with dairy farmers to provide advice and service farms to deliver cost-effective solutions to power quality and voltage distribution during milking.
We are putting all 2018 election candidates on notice; a long-term energy plan which recognises agriculture is critical for the future of our state.