Luke O'Sullivan requests answers for local business' rising energy costs

The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria, Luke O’Sullivan has called on Minister D’Ambrosio to give local Bendigo companies, which have been hit hard by increased energy prices, further explanation and guidance on how to proceed with business through the rising costs.

Mr O’Sullivan raised the matter during adjournment debate in Parliament last week and referenced one Bendigo company in particular, citing their questions regarding the rising cost of energy and gas.

"The Bendigo Manufacturing Group is the largest manufacturing group in Bendigo. They are looking to expand their operations with a $250 million investment in what they do.

"But one of the things they are certainly concerned about is the prospect of undertaking that investment with the threat of increased power prices over their head." Mr O’Sullivan said.

He also stated that the chairman of the Bendigo Manufacturing Group, Mark Brennan, is looking for a review of what the higher costs of energy and gas will look like and what the government is going to do to address the issue.

Energy prices in Victoria have risen significantly, with the second quarter of 2017 reflecting a 238 percent rise in the wholesale energy price when compare to 2015.

"In particular, power prices have soared since the Labor Government closed the Hazelwood Power Station in Gippsland.

"As a result, businesses and families are struggling to pay their power bills.

"What I am looking for is for the minister to meet with these companies to give them some sort of guidance as to how they can continue their operations, continue to invest and continue to employ people in an environment where we see power prices and gas prices absolutely going through the roof."

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