Ted O'Brien

Australian food and beverage manufacturers across Australia looking to lower their energy costs and reduce emissions have been snubbed by the Albanese Labor Government.

After more than 100 days in Government, Anthony Albanese and Chris Bowen have failed to deliver small grants to 800 businesses such as wineries, breweries, coffee roasters, bakers and ice-cream makers that were successful applicants in the Energy Efficiency Communities (EEC) grants program.

The EEC program made grants of between $10,000 and $25,000 available through a competitive process for businesses to implement energy efficiency practices and technologies, and better manage energy consumption to reduce their power bills.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Ted O’Brien says the Albanese Labor Government must put politics aside and honour the $19.9 million investment. 

“Energy costs are one of the biggest overheads for any business and the Albanese Labor Government has left 800 Australian food and beverage manufacturers in the dark for over 100 days since coming to office,” Mr O’Brien said.

“These food and beverage manufacturers are grappling with soaring power prices and Albanese and Bowen have got the handbrake on.

“Labor must honour the commitment made to these businesses to help them reduce their energy costs.”

The Hon Luke Howarth, Member for Petrie said there was one local business in his electorate which have been forced to put their project on hold as Labor stalls. 

“Every day that Labor delays ultimately means higher power prices for these small businesses,” Mr Howarth said.

“I call on the Albanese Labor Government to quit playing politics and to provide these businesses with the certainty they require by honouring this investment.”

Successful projects were chosen through a competitive grants process led by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources after considering them for eligibility and completeness.

Dean Nolan located in the Petrie electorate received confirmation that their application for the EEC grant was successful in to support them to purchase of an electric steam boiler.

The project was designed to reduce Thirsty Chiefs Brewing Company’s power bills by eliminating the outdated LPG run boilers they are currently using, saving them up to $1,250 a month and was due to be completed as soon as possible.

Owner and manager of Thirsty Chiefs, Dean Nolan said they were hopeful the Albanese Government would honour the commitment.

“I was gutted when I got the email saying that the grants were being reassessed. I didn’t even think it was possible.”

“Small businesses are really struggling at the moment. It’s getting harder week to week to stay in business.”

“This grant would change so much for us. Saving money on energy costs would mean I could not only keep staff employed but continue to support the local food trucks and musicians that we work so closely with.”

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