The government is failing to provide relief to businesses under stress of increased power bills during the COVID-19 crisis.
Shadow Energy Minister, David O’Byrne, said the Liberals’ ignorance of the current pressures faced by businesses is shocking.
“Labor has heard from a small business who has not been eligible for government power bill support because they have been tenants of a multi-tenanted property,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“This business’ electricity is metered internally, and the building owner invoices them their share of energy and yet the government has failed to provide them, or the building owner, with the power bill waiver they are eligible for as a small business.
“This business pleaded with Guy Barnett for assistance and yet eight weeks have passed and they have still not heard a single word from the Minister.
“The government has also ignorantly stated that businesses wouldn’t need support because they wouldn’t be using much power while they were shut down.
“This is yet another stunning display of cold disregard for the situation businesses find themselves in as they continued to run freezers and cool rooms and other equipment in the hope they could bounce back once restrictions were lifted.
“Labor has been calling for the government to consider extending power bill relief to hospitality businesses like the Shoreline Hotel and Tall Timbers, who did not qualify for support from the government because they were higher energy users.
“The Premier promised to personally follow up with these businesses, but they have received no support from the government.
“Now these businesses are attempting to trade under some of the strictest social distancing rules in the country and the battle to keep their heads above water has only become harder.
“The Premier must provide power relief to businesses that have clearly been impacted by the COVID-19 related restrictions and are desperate for assistance.
“We need to do all we can to support businesses and their employees suffering ongoing hardship due to the pandemic.
“Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package is designed to get Tasmanians back into jobs, help those hardest hit by the pandemic and create a better, fairer and more resilient economy and society.”
David O’Byrne MP
Shadow Energy Minister