Energy prices cripple SA business

SOUTH Australia’s sky-rocketing electricity prices are a handbrake to the State’s small businesses, according to the first meeting of the nationwide Small Business Roadshow. 

Starting today in Kingswood, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack and local MP Nicolle Flint heard how South Australia’s energy costs hamper growth and expansion, leaving small business uncertain about its future. 

“South Australia’s Federal MPs have told me how the State’s energy market and prices leave small business counting the cost, which is why I wanted to come and meet small businesses directly to hear how the Federal can help,” Mr McCormack said. 

“Nicolle Flint has been a tireless advocate for Boothby’s small businesses, but today we put a face and a story to the sorry statistics of South Australia’s energy policy in a forum with Boothby businesses.” 

“Throughout suburban Adelaide are an extraordinary number of businesses – 37.3 per cent, in fact – which are in the business services industry. We heard today how Boothby bore the brunt of the lost revenues, the closed shopfronts and the sky-rocketing electricity prices. 

“We have heard startling stories today – of lights off, of fridges defrosted, of online enterprise stopped in it its tracks by the failing electricity system. And all this at a time when families are forced to scrimp and save, to choose whether or not they can afford air-conditioners during a heatwave.” 

Boothby Liberal MP Nicolle Flint said South Australia’s energy prices are pushed onto small businesses. 

“Belair Park Country Club is a small business specialising in weddings and corporate conferences in my electorate. Theirs is a small business which relies upon certainty to quote for couples needing a reception venue for their wedding,” Ms Flint said. 

“Yet, facing a cost increase of $1,000 per month – now up to around $3400 – they have no certainty at all. These prices are an increase of 30 per cent and this means quotes for future clients are unreliable, given prices just keep rising.” 

Mr McCormack said the Federal Coalition Government will take ideology out of the energy debate. 

“The stories we have heard today are real. And whilst the Labor Party describes eight blackouts in recent memory as a ‘hiccup’, we know people should not be some pawn in an ideological game from South Australian Labor and its ideological identical in Canberra,” Mr McCormack said. 

“They deserve respect. They deserve lights which switch on and freezers which don’t defrost. They deserve affordable and reliable power. 

“That’s why the Federal Coalition Government will turn the ideology off and keep the lights on.”

Cristy Houghton