East Gippsland business owners will have the chance to meet with the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, over rising energy costs, if she is true to her word.
Speaking in State Parliament last week, the Minister said “I would be happy to meet anywhere with any business right across the state to discuss any energy costs challenges they are facing”
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, commended the Minister on her commitment to travel the state and said he has had a number of local business owners take up the offer of having the Minister visit to discuss the matter.
“My response has been prompted by the Minister’s previous statement that the impact of Hazelwood’s closure would be around the order of a four per cent increase to electricity costs” said Mr Bull.
“Clearly that’s not the experience in East Gippsland and it is clearly not the situation state-wide.”
“My personal view is that the Minister does not understand the impact that power prices are having on the viability of business.
“As an example, the Bairnsdale RSL has reported a 95 per cent increase in its electricity bill that is adding $80,000 to its annual running costs.
“Cranes Asphalting and Bitumen Sealing and Eastern Asphalt are experiencing electricity price increases in the order of 110 per cent and I have had a large number of other businesses reporting rises of over 50 per cent.
“Price hikes of this magnitude can’t just be absorbed or passed on. They are resulting in serious cut backs to staffing levels, reduced investment in plant and equipment and sadly, in some cases, business closures.
“A number of businesses have already taken up the offer to meet with the Minister and any others can contact my office.
“Whilst I hold grave doubts the Minister will agree to meet as she said, I am happy to extend the invitation after her generous offer.”
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, with Michael Crane, of Cranes Asphalting and Bitumen Sealing and Eastern Asphalt, which are experiencing electricity price increases in the order of 110 per cent.