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Media statement

Chambers say action on energy is needed to support business and protect jobs

The Hunter and NSW Business Chambers say urgent action to address electricity and gas prices is vital to prevent business closures and job losses.

NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright said the latest reports on potential gas shortages in 2018 and 2019 shows there is no more time for debating what should be done and instead governments and the energy industry just need to get on with it and do it.

“In fact, the NSW Business Chamber and others first raised concerns about these impending gas shortages in 2013.

“The latest NSW Business Chamber Business Conditions Survey for the September quarter shows that more than 65% of NSW businesses are now being affected by rising energy prices, which is up from 45% of businesses affected in the March quarter,” Stephen said.

Bob Hawes, Hunter Business Chamber CEO, said that regional NSW centres with manufacturing industries – including the Hunter – risk being the hardest hit, as regional workers cannot simply move from one job to the next.

“The looming energy crisis will significantly impact our region and reverse any progress governments have tried so hard to make in supporting regional growth.

“Affordable and reliable power isn’t just an issue for manufacturers, it is also vital for contributing to stability for all businesses and households.

“We appreciate there are differing views on what Australia’s energy supply will look like in the long term, but we have reached a crisis point and we need to address the issue.

“The Federal Government must stay firm in its commitment to ensure the delivery of affordable gas to businesses even if that means temporarily limiting gas exports.

“We also call on Federal Government to look at ways to incentivise immediate investment in energy efficient capital equipment through changes in investment allowance provisions for business.

“We urge the NSW Government to continue facilitating the development of NSW’s gas projects and urgently deliver targeted energy efficiency programs for business,” Bob said.

Media: Bob Hawes – 0418 496 745

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