Power price cuts for business only

March 11, 1998

Power price cuts for business only

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — In a bid to limit outrage from business at losses from the power cuts which hit Queensland from February 23, the Borbidge Coalition government is to bring forward a 5% cut in electricity prices — but only for business, not the millions of domestic consumers also affected by blackouts.

A large corner shop with an annual power bill of $10,000 will save $500. A large factory using $400,000 worth of electricity per year will save $20,000.

The move came as some business representatives warned of law suits against the government over the blackouts. The Labor opposition branded the price cuts "a blatant election stunt" but an ALP censure motion against energy minister Tom Gilmore failed after independent MP Liz Cunningham backed the government.

Labor has revealed that the four power stations which suffered simultaneous breakdowns had all had serious maintenance backlogs. Hundreds of power workers have lost their jobs in the last few years while the electricity industry is corporatised in preparation for privatisation.

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