Keeping power costs down forges foundry future

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Keeping power costs down has helped secure the future of the east coast’s biggest foundry and decent, secure jobs for more than 100 Queenslanders.

Energy Minister Mick de Brenni said Maryborough-based CR Foundry was one of around 1,000 farmers, businesses and manufacturers in regional Queensland receiving transitional electricity rebates from the Government over a period of up to nine years.

With the Palaszczuk Government keeping electricity costs down, the foundry kept its doors open, providing job security for workers and was looking to take on new markets, proof Queenslanders could create, build and expand manufacturing in the state.

Just this week, the foundry was putting on apprentices, creating the next generation of skilled Queenslanders.

“To ensure Queensland’s economic recovery powers ahead, we’ve used the 2021-22 State Budget to enable automatic provision of these rebates from July 1, with $29.4 million allocated in the next four years alone,” Mr de Brenni said.

“This means that a small number of Queensland businesses whose annual power bills are heavily impacted from switching from old obsolete electricity tariffs to standard tariffs are having rebates applied to their bills while they adapt.

“This is about protecting regional manufacturing, regional agriculture, regional businesses and regional jobs.”

CR’s Executive GM Phil Sellers thanked the Qld State Government, Energy Queensland, and Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders for their support through the process.

“Our Maryborough foundry has over 100 years of history in the Wide Bay region, and the ETAS will help cement its future for our company, our employees, and the wider community,” Mr Sellers said.

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said businesses like the CR Foundry were at the heart of the Maryborough economy and a vital part of the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is going to keep the foundry’s electricity prices reasonable, keep those jobs and help them modernise and expand,” Mr Saunders said.

“Securing the foundry’s future means we have secured these decent, secure jobs for Maryborough workers, families and their community.

“It is because we own our electricity system in Queensland and the strong advocacy of the AMWU that we have this great outcome.”

Mr de Brenni said thousands of customers had secured savings by moving off obsolete tariffs in June but it had been challenging for some, which is why the Palaszczuk Government introduced the ETAS to help ease any financial pressures while businesses adapt and to protect regional jobs.

Minister de Brenni said regional businesses like CR would form the manufacturing base needed as Queensland expands it economy in traditional industries like agriculture and resources as well as new industries including renewables and hydrogen.

Mr de Brenni said the Electricity Tariff Adjustment Scheme began on 1 July and will run for nine years.

“Our regions are the backbone of our economy, they support thousands of jobs, and fair power prices are vital to their prosperity,” Mr de Brenni said.

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