Our en­ergy mad­ness

Sunday Herald Sun - - Opinion -

OUT in the real world, the bills keep com­ing in and the ris­ing cost of elec­tric­ity is hurt­ing. For many house­hold­ers, it’s now driv­ing us­age de­ci­sions that have more in com­mon with wartime ra­tioning than a First World na­tion. All three ma­jor re­tail­ers have an­nounced in­creases of up to 20 per cent and $600 for av­er­age con­sumers in some states. If you live in South Aus­tralia, the in­crease will be around $1400 a year if gas and elec­tric­ity in­creases are com­bined. How does a per­son on a fixed in­come cope? For small busi­ness, it’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween pay­ing the in­crease and hir­ing ex­tra staff.

For a coun­try blessed in re­sources, this is mad­ness. We’re ex­port­ing cheap and re­li­able baseload power to the world yet at home we’re cut­ting our nose off to spite our face. The in­creased de­mand for Aus­tralia’s gas over­seas as well as the shut­down of large coal-fired power sta­tions are to blame. And if higher prices weren’t enough, the is­sues of re­li­able sup­ply still re­main. PETA CREDLIN IS A SUN­DAY HER­ALD SUN COLUM­NIST

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