Energy costs hurt­ing coun­try busi­nesses

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

THE Ped­dles have a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to make.

The South Gipp­s­land dairy farm­ers em­ploy 11 peo­ple on their Yar­ram prop­erty and for up to six months ev­ery year they ir­ri­gate – at a cost of more than $1000 per day in energy costs, to­talling up to $150,000 in a dry year.

They’re fac­ing a 150 per cent in­crease in their elec­tric­ity costs when their cur­rent energy con­tract ex­pires.

It would more than dou­ble their daily ir­ri­gat­ing costs.

Greg Ped­dle says their only choice is to ab­sorb the in­crease, but he doesn’t know how.

The Ped­dles aren’t alone.

Pro­ces­sors, like Mur­ray Goul­burn, have ex­pe­ri­enced price rises well above 50 per cent this year and ex­pect sim­i­lar again in the year ahead.

Re­gional busi­nesses are bleed­ing cash – just to keep the lights on.

State-funded coun­try hos­pi­tals are also feel­ing the pinch.

Hamil­ton’s Western District Health Ser­vice’s bills in­creased $360,000 this year.

Sey­mour Health’s power and gas prices will soar $190,000 in 2017-18.

Hos­pi­tal aux­il­iary cake sales won’t cover these soar­ing prices.

The An­drews Govern­ment won’t com­mit to fund­ing the in­crease, leav­ing coun­try hos­pi­tals with se­ri­ous con­cerns about the im­pact these soar­ing costs will have on ser­vices.

After fail­ing to stop Hazel­wood’s clo­sure – and the loss of 750 jobs and 22 per cent of Vic­to­ria’s elec­tric­ity sup­ply – Daniel An­drews is des­per­ate to hand­ball his mess to the Com­mon­wealth.

Un­like La­bor, the Vic­to­rian Na­tion­als un­der­stand Vic­to­ria needs a se­cure baseload power sup­ply.

Re­cently The Na­tion­als’ Fed­eral Con­fer­ence de­bated energy and agreed to in­ves­ti­gate ways to se­cure Vic­to­ria and Aus­tralia’s energy fu­ture.

The Na­tion­als here in Vic­to­ria have an­nounced a com­mit­ment to work on

WE wel­come your let­ters to the Ed­i­tor. Pri­or­ity is given to typed/emailed let­ters un­der 250 words. Ev­ery let­ter must have your full name, ad­dress and a day­time phone con­tact num­ber sup­plied for ver­i­fi­ca­tion pur­poses. Any let­ter may be edited for rea­sons of space, con­tent or leg­i­bil­ity. Let­ters are pub­lished with the au­thor’s name and town/lo­cal­ity. Email edit.chron­i­cle@ne­me­ Post Let­ters to the Ed­i­tor,37 Rowan St, Wan­garatta 3677

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