Paddy Go Easy manager Kath Murton felt sick when she opened an Ergon Energy electricity bill for $6500 which could spell the end for the popular watering hole.
Paddy Go Easy manager Kath Murton felt sick when she opened an Ergon Energy electricity bill for $6500 which could spell the end for the popular watering hole. Chris Ison

Pub may close due to rising costs

PETER Gunton fears the luck of the Irish has finally run out for his beloved pub, Paddy Go Easy.

Having sunk more than half-a-million dollars into the popular Rockhampton venue in the past couple of years, Peter and his partner, Kath Murton, say they may have to close the doors.

There's little left in their pot of gold and rising living costs are taking a toll.

“I've put at least half-a-million dollars into this place over the last two-and-a-half years I've owned it,” Peter said. “I don't want to lose it, it's heart-wrenching.”

This week the couple contacted The Morning Bulletin about their plight after reading a story about rising electricity prices.

Peter and Kath can feel the pain.

They have a $6500 bill owing to Ergon and, while they have arranged a payment plan with the electricity supplier, it's putting increased pressure on the running of the business.

Their February bill, albeit the largest they've had so far, was just shy of $2000. The couple said it wasn't so long ago their average monthly bill was about $1100.

Peter and Kath said they were having to forfeit their wages to make ends meet.

Minister for Energy and Water Utilities Stephen Robertson said on Monday recent price increases are the result of the rising cost of generating, transmitting and supplying electricity.

“The cost of supplying electricity is increasing right across Australia,” Mr Robertson said.

“High demand, especially during peak times, increases the need for energy distributors like Ergon Energy to invest significantly in building and maintaining the electricity network to ensure reliability of supply.”

Ergon's Corporate Communications manager, Bob Pleash, said they were working closely with Mr Gunton to minimise their electricity bill by providing energy-saving advice and assisting with payment arrangements.

But Paddys is not the only small pub in Rocky which is facing tough times.

The Anchor Hotel on Bridge Street will clear the decks in seven weeks.



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