small business | March 17, 2017

Energy relief off Labor’s small businesses agenda

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP says 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 questions in Parliament last week on whether his department was doing any work on the impact of increasing power costs in regional areas, home to many energy-intensive businesses in dairy, manufacturing and food processing.

“While the Andrews Government is distracted dealing with the rorting behaviour of its own MPs, the best interests of regional small businesses have been put on the backburner,” Ms Kealy said.

“Local small businesses have reported massive increases in their gas and electricity bills and it is making it harder to operate in country Victoria.

“Prices which food processors receive for their products are determined by world markets so, tragically, increased energy costs will see farmers paid less for their products,” she said.

Electricity costs jumped up 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,” Ms Kealy said.

"A Liberal-Nationals government would scrap the unrealistic Victorian Renewable Energy Target, so country Victorians won't have to face repeated blackouts and higher energy prices," she said.

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