BY LAUREN FREEMANTLE
Amidst concern for the future of Hunter manufacturing jobs, NSW MPs are calling for the federal government to adopt a national energy policy.
Yesterday, Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon met with Shadow Minister for Industry, Senator Kim Carr, to discuss the challenges facing local manufacturing companies in the wake of “exorbitant” national electricity prices and a shortage of gas supply.
The ministers visited Tomago Aluminium and Weston Aluminium, as well as the Throsby Meatworks as examples of industries already being negatively affected by rising energy prices.
“Price gouging by gas companies and the electricity suppliers has meant that the manufacturing companies are being subject to massive price rises which are now putting jobs at risk,” Senator Carr says, “We’ll see layoffs and in extreme cases, companies forced offshore.”
The federal government currently has no national energy policy in place, however in April 2015 released the
Energy White Paper
to set out a focus on increasing supplier competitiveness and investment, with a
National Energy Production Plan
Senator Carr believes that in order to protect Hunter industry, improvements need to be made on a nation-wide level. “What I find remarkable is that in the Hunter, which is so energy-rich, there is a shortage of energy for manufacturing.
“The Australian government has to ensure that we take the national interest into account first…Australian jobs, Australian economies need sufficient access to energy at reasonable prices on a reliable basis.”
|Senator Kim Carr.|
|Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon.|