Burnett MP Stephen Bennett told the LNP State Convention increasing power prices had left irrigators
Burnett MP Stephen Bennett told the LNP State Convention increasing power prices had left irrigators "in crisis”. Mike Knott BUN020317IRRIGATION7

Will cheaper power for irrigators cost the LNP seats?

LNP faithful have voted to support a trial of reduced electricity prices for irrigators despite a warning it will cost the party Brisbane seats.

At the LNP State Convention in Brisbane on Friday, Burnett MP Stephen Bennett moved a resolution calling for a trial electricity tariff specifically for irrigators to help reduce farm power bills.

But Brisbane-based LNP members told the convention the resolution was "divisive" and would tell city voters the party would back some businesses at the expense of others.

Mr Bennett told the convention irrigators were "in crisis" due to high power prices and the party needed to lead on the issue.

"I think if we don't do anything we are in a death spiral," he said.

"We have cases around, that I'm aware of, of 10% increases in power price which means another $20,000 on their bills. Some of these people are now just farming to pay debt."

Representatives of regionally based LNP branches supported the resolution but it faces opposition from city branch members.

Bulimba LNP member Paul Cartwright told the convention the resolution would send a message to city businesses and voters that the LNP would help certain sectors at the expense of others.

"It's politically good for central Queensland, it's politically good for farmers, but be prepared to lose Brisbane seats," he said.

"Because this says that this party is only for cutting tariffs, cutting electricity prices for people in regions. I'm a small business person, electricity prices are having an impact on my business, why can't you give me a cut?

"You can't because you're picking winners, you're picking farmers over the people in urban areas and that's going to come back to bite us."

The resolution was passed. It is not binding on LNP policy.

- NewsRegional

News Corp Australia


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