Clean energy target ‘critical’ for Australia’s agricultural future

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Australia’s food industry is taking a hit by the ongoing energy crisis, according to the agriculture industry.

A warning has been fired that the country’s ability to deliver affordable food and fibre is at threat, as federal and state energy ministers met to discuss the industry’s future.

The Council of Australian Government’s energy council meeting in Brisbane heard concerns from Labor states, which are calling for policy that aims to encourage investment and the delivery of a clean energy target (CET).

“Importantly, governments will be provided with greater visibility of retail electricity prices, retail margins and factors affecting price, to ensure they are in a stronger position to respond to any inappropriate market practices,’’ said federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg .

While the council agreed on 49 recommendations of the Finkel Review, there were fears that rising costs would lead to mothballing of important infrastructure.

Claiming that CET was “critical”, Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the Finkel Review “clearly showed a CET would deliver lower electricity prices, more investment and lower emissions compared to a business-as-usual approach”.