Power prices threaten manufacturing future: Labor

A lack of electricity reliability coupled with skyrocketing consumption prices is putting the nation’s manufacturing industry at risk, Labor Senator Kim Carr declared. 

Senator Carr, Labor’s innovation, industry, science and research spokesman, visited Launceston on Thursday.

He met with industry leaders as part of a national trip to discuss the nation’s energy security and its affect on Tasmania.

Senator Carr said manufacturers across the nation were in an “acute crisis because of the failure to develop a national energy policy”.

Senator Carr said many manufacturing businesses were facing unsustainable futures due to electricity consumption price rises.

“It’s forcing people to actually lay people off,” he said. 

“These are costing jobs because of the failure of the political system to deal with an energy policy which we can all be able to work together with to ensure we have security, and reliability.”

Senator Carr said the outcomes of the round table meetings could form part of Labor’s policy platform to take to the next election.

“We have a series of companies that are actually telling us that there is a serious difficulty with being able to secure a long-term energy supply and at prices they can afford to sustain their operations,” he said. 

“It’s a problem we find in many parts of Australia.” 

The Australian Maritime College will receive $5.85 million for a three-year project to map the country’s tidal energy, in detail, before assessing its ability to contribute to Australia’s energy needs.

Senator Carr was supportive of the funding.

“I’m looking forward to the translation of theoretical models to commercial applications,” he said. 

“That’s why we need to look at the next phase.”