AAMA believes that affordable energy supply is “absolutely vital” to the operation of the agricultural industry and is calling for the Australian government to continue its commitments.
The Australian agricultural sector has been battling with soaring energy costs over the last few years, which the federal government of Australia aimed to combat in 2017 with its National Energy Guarantee (NEG) policy.
The NEG policy is designed to deal with rising energy prices in Australia and lack of clarity for companies investing in energy infrastructures such as solar panels.
AAMA is an organisation made up of agricultural workers representing the red meat and poultry processing, as well as protein rendering, to tackle the challenges of the industry.
One of the members of the AAMA, Patrick Hutchinson, CEO of the Australian Meat Industry Council said there has been a big change in the way agricultural workers manage energy use over the last few years and has addressed several points to improve energy use for the industry.
“Competition in generation and retail is of particular concern to energy users like AAMA Members in rural and regional Australia, where the presence of just one retailer means being at the mercy of a monopoly market,” said Hutchinson.
“AAMA advocates that the priority must be on the energy user and that supply is an essential service that must be government-guaranteed. Increasing prices for electricity, gas and other energy sources provide benefits to the energy generator, and retailer profits support their shareholders, but they also have a deleterious effect on all Australians, including agricultural manufacturers and their employees.”
Hutchinson has previously stated that more must be done to halt significantly rising energy costs, which he described had become a “burden” for business.
According to the Australian government, electricity and gas prices for manufacturing businesses have increased by 60% and 29% respectively in the 10 years to June 2003.