The price of power

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY -

RE­CENTLY the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment au­tho­rised its 100% Gov­ern­ment owned re­tailer Er­gon En­ergy to in­crease power bills by 4.1% for busi­nesses, 3.3% for house­holds and up to 10.3% for ir­ri­ga­tors/farm­ers from July 1, 2017.

For farm­ers such as cane grow­ers, elec­tric­ity costs have gone up 135% over the last 10 years. While cane grow­ers can­not re­coup any of this, ow­ing to be­ing tied to the world trade mar­ket price for sugar, all other food pro­duc­ers will have to pass on some, if not all costs to house­holds. Thus, families get hit twice by the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment’s power cost hikes.

Rather than em­ploy more staff, many busi­nesses will be look­ing to sack or re­duce staff hours and work longer hours them­selves. This is not the jobs bo­nanza be­ing put for­ward by the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment.

The jobs bo­nanza could be a re­al­ity if the Queens­land

Gov­ern­ment com­mit­ted to re­duc­ing whole­sale elec­tric­ity prices.

At pre­sent Queens­land has the sec­ond high­est aver­age whole­sale elec­tric­ity price in the Na­tional Elec­tric­ity Mar­ket.

Un­less power bills fall in Queens­land, busi­nesses will close and families will suf­fer, yet again. — Kerry Lat­ter Mackay Cane­grow­ers CEO

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