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PIAA presses energy minister for reform

Friday, 08 February 2019
By Wayne Robinson

Pressing for energy reform: Richard Celarc (right) Opus exec chairman and PIAA Board member puts the print industry case to federal energy minister Angus Taylor

The PIAA says industry minster Angus Taylor is on board with its concerns over print’s energy supply, and says he will be working on recommendations  that it says are neccesary for the stability of print.

At a meeting between Taylor and his advisors and PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay and Board member and Opus exec chairman Richard Celarc in Canberra supply and pricing were the main issues on the agenda. Andrew Macaulay said, “The minister understood that print, and all manufacturing industry, needs consistency of supply, realistic pricing, and no gouging. These are all issues which print businesses are facing.”

Celarc said, “I told the minister our power bills have doubled, and that the strength of power surges is knocking our equipment out, even though we have power correction systems in our substation.

“The minister is from a business background, and was fully on board with our concerns, he was evidently on our wavelength. I am sure that the energy situation will improve if he stays in his job. He understands manufacturing, the competitive pressures Australian manufacturing is under, and value of manufacturing to the economy. I am looking forward to seeing some changes.”

Macaulay said, “Industry is not primarily concerfned with where the power comes from, what it needs is consistency of supply and fair pricing. Right now we have blackouts and brownouts in SA and Victoria, and right down the eastern seaboard we have power surges – from mixing traditional controllable power from coal and gas, with and renewable non-controllable energy from solar and wind in the grid – which are blowing print equipment circuit boards. That has got to stop.

“Many of our members are also being gouged, increasingly by their property owners, especially on light industrial estates, owners who have signed deals with power companies to be their exclusive supplier, known as embedded networking, with the result that the bills have a 20 or 30 per cent whack on top. That is unacceptable.

“Minster Taylor knows industry is not taking an idealogical position, this is an economic position, not an ecological one. We have already had follow up from his advisors, and will continue to work with him. We believe he will be acting on our recommendations.”


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