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Labor leader short on energy specifics – Macaulay

Wednesday, 15 November 2017
By Print21

Energetic debate: Bill Shorten with Andrew Macaulay.

Any future ALP government would be a mixed bag for the printing industry with good news on training but little to cheer for in the energy prices that are bedevilling printers everywhere.

Resulting from the prominent role that PIAA has taken in the national energy debate, Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA, was invited to attend Bill Shorten’s Sydney lunchtime presentation on policies for a future ALP government. While he was encouraged by some of the Labor leader’s points he is doubtful of the overall benefit for the printing industry of a change in government.

“It’s a bit like the curate’s egg, good in parts,” he said. “I paid attention while he was speaking and afterwards plied him with questions in a face-to-face meeting. Overall I’m not convinced that he really understand the challenges facing the industry.”

Shorten places a lot of emphasis on using renewables to contain soaring energy prices. “Our focus in the long-term is to help more and more small and medium businesses get their power prices down by making the move to renewable energy. Tens of thousands of small businesses have already utilised rooftop solar,” he said.

Macaulay is unconvinced it’s a viable solution to the energy crisis, given the ACCC analysis that highlights the problem is much broader. He has held a number of meetings with ACCC Chairman Rod Sims, who joined him at the lunch. The ACCC analysis suggests that high energy prices are structural, compounded by failure to deliver base-load power. “These two problems must be addressed by an incoming Government if we are to see lower energy prices and increased reliability,” said Macaulay.

On the other hand Macaulay praised the mooted creation of the $1 billion Australian Manufacturing Future Fund, which will be of assistance to printers in acquiring new presses and other equipment. In addition, Shorten’s vision for industry training aligns very closely with expectations of Printing Industries members. Macaulay applauded Shorten for these and has follow up meetings scheduled with the Opposition in Canberra to expand on this in the next fortnight.



One Response to “Labor leader short on energy specifics – Macaulay”

  1. November 15, 2017 at 1:40 pm,

    P. Rinter

    Careful PIAA, buried in that statement is praise of a Labor policy. You may end up dropping off the LNP’s Christmas card list.

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