CQ businessman’s power struggle to stay competitive
ELECTRICITY is the number one problem for Rockhampton multinational Dobinsons Spring and Suspension and if prices continue to rise its future is uncertain, according to owner Glen Dobinson.
He has a dream for Central Queensland to have the cheapest power in the world but until then he will have to do what he can to ensure his business is afloat for the next generation.
“Electricity just keeps going up and up and up and I don’t see the end of it,” Mr Dobinson said.
“We hear the government are going to reduce the power by $100 a year in the future- that’ll be great for residential people but there is no talk about industry.”
The three-generation business has seven branches, including locations in Miami and Dubai, but high electricity costs make it hard for the corporation to stay competitive.
“We need to keep pushing politicians to work if they want to keep manufacturing in regional areas,” he said.
“They need to keep pushing for electricity to be globally competitive. The cheaper the power is the more industry stays here and the more industry comes here.”
He said more power stations and more energy providers were needed in Central Queensland.
“We’ve got the coal, we’ve got the gas, we could make heaps of electricity cheap and that would bring industry all over the world here,” he said.
“I’ve got to compete with China that pays 10 cents a kilowatt for electricity and the new tariff they’re thinking about coming here would be $1.04 a kilowatt.
“You can see why manufacturing goes offshore- it’s definitely a worry in that respect.”
State opposition leader Deb Frecklington and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry stood beside Mr Dobinson at his warehouse on Tuesday promising him the LNP had a plan, which would help him.
“If we want to support businesses like Glen’s here we need to open up our eyes and realise that regional and rural Queensland is here for the taking,” she said.
She said there needed to more electricity providers in regional Queensland.
“Whether it’s Glen’s business or Michelle’s home the only choice is Ergon,” she said.
“What we know and it happens in the south east that if you provide retail competition it means more providers in the market and it drives down power prices.”
She said legalisation would have to be changed to allow competing electricity companies come to the regions.
Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke said research proved if more electricity providers came to the region power prices would increase.
“The independent Productivity Commission said that power prices would increase by $400 per household in regional Queensland,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“The competition in the South East corner is benefiting us in regional Queensland because they look at the average cost down there and then they subsidise it to regional Queenslanders.”
He said local businesses should apply for government funding to help with electricity prices.