POWER ISSUES: Deputy State Opposition leader Deb Frecklington and Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen talk with Consolidated Linen Service manager Adam Roberts about rising power costs.
POWER ISSUES: Deputy State Opposition leader Deb Frecklington and Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen talk with Consolidated Linen Service manager Adam Roberts about rising power costs. Alistair Brightman

'We can't afford to expand': power prices cripple business

SMALL businessman Adam Roberts says he's being slugged an extra $300,000 a year under his new power contract.

The massive hike in running costs takes the combined electricity and gas bill at his Pialba business Consolidated Linen Services to a whopping $1million.

Mr Roberts was joined by Deputy State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington and Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen on Monday to discuss the impact of rising power costs on local businesses.

It comes as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launches its investigation into state-run energy companies.

Mr Roberts said higher costs would likely be passed onto customers, force his team to abandon plans for expansion until further notice and potentially spell the end for many local small businesses.

"Ultimately, rising power prices will increase the cost of living pressures on everyone," Mr Roberts said.

"The general industry impact could be that services could increase by about 10%. "It's very hard for a family and local company to swallow."

Ms Frecklington said small businesses were victims of "price gouging".

Asked about the LNP's plans to regulate electricity prices, Ms Frecklington said she would await the outcome of the consumer watchdog's investigation but a key step would be to get rid of Labour's "crazy green scheme" of 50% renewables by 2030 and the zero emissions policy.

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders argued power prices increased by 43% under the previous LNP government.

He maintained the price increase of 3.3% was one of the lowest in his party's history.



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