Energy relief off Labor’s small businesses agenda
Relief on skyrocketing gas and electricity prices for regional small businesses has been pushed to the backburner by the Andrews Government.
Small Business Minister Philip Dalidakis refused to answer Luke O’Sullivan, The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria’s questions in Parliament last week on whether his department was doing any work on the impact of increasing power costs in regional areas. These areas are home to many energy-intensive businesses in dairy, manufacturing and food processing.
“While the Andrews Government is distracted dealing with the rorting taking place in it’s own party, the best interests of regional small businesses have been pushed out of focus once again,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
During his question to Mr Dalidakis, Mr O’Sullivan noted that “businesses are reporting year on year gas price increases of between 50% and 120% and electricity price increases of up to 50%.”
“In our regional areas, the price food processors receive for their products are determined by world markets so, unfortunately, increased energy costs will see farmers paid less for their products. “
Electricity costs jumped up to 16.6 per cent for small businesses in 2017; while households saw a 10 per cent increase.
“Victoria is on the path to an energy security crisis if Daniel Andrews continues his desperate grab for greens preferences,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
"A Liberal-Nationals government would scrap the unrealistic Victorian Renewable Energy Target, so that country Victorians won't have to face repeated blackouts and higher energy prices and we can avoid an energy crisis in our regions."