The price of power
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